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fic: Unpredictable (chapters 3 and 4)

Title: Unpredictable
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: Sherlock
Pairing: Sherlock/John with Lestrade complications
Rating: R
Disclaimer: these characters are not mine



Chapter 3

 

 

Sherlock wakes up knowing there is no-one else in the room with him. There's a crick in his neck that tells him, even before he opens his eyes, that he's been asleep on the sofa. The position of the patch of sunlight on the wall indicates that it's just gone 6, this time of year.

 

He can't have been asleep for long – Lestrade left in a hurry soon after half-past five, rushing to get to an appointment he said he'd forgotten. (“No it's not a case, Sherlock. Not even a boring one. Give it a rest!”)

 

Apart from the stiff neck, Sherlock's physical sensations are generally rather pleasant, though he doesn't feel particularly inclined to do anything energetic. He stretches luxuriously, knocking his hand against the arm of the sofa in the process. Another bruise to add to the afternoon's tally. The sofa is probably not the best place for these activities. Perfectly adequate though. Not that he's intending to make a habit of this sort of thing. Slows you down too much. Even his blood feels as if it's moving at a different pace.

 

Still, Sherlock is quite pleased with himself, and not altogether displeased with Lestrade. The man is still frustratingly stupid, of course, but he clearly has skills and expertise which open up interesting avenues for further exploration. Sherlock is not ready to abandon his significant reservations about sex and its effects, but he can see that some further investigation is justified, and might even be useful. And certainly he is feeling a lot better now than he did earlier.

 

What was it Lestrade had said afterwards? Nothing like a good fuck after a massive row. Coarsely put, but accurate all the same. Typical Lestrade.

 

He realizes he's thirsty. A cup of tea would be a good thing at this point.

 

Mrs Hudson!”

 

No answer. Must still be out.

 

The house is very quiet. He can't even hear John moving around upstairs, though he'd certainly heard him banging about earlier. That was before Sherlock had got distracted by what Lestrade was doing. He gets distracted again now, thinking about it, which is pleasurable but rather a nuisance.

 

There seem to be rather a lot of things on the floor that weren't there before. Mostly from the coffee-table. Hardly surprising.

 

It is odd to be feeling so cheerful, given how unhappy he'd been when Lestrade arrived this afternoon. He would never have thought he'd tell anyone about waking up with John the other morning, let alone Lestrade of all people. But talking to Lestrade had been surprisingly helpful, even if things had taken an unexpected turn after that. Then again, the cheerfulness may be an after-effect of the sex. There is usually some simple chemical explanation for these things.

 

But – Sherlock is gripped by a small twinge of uncertainty – there is still the matter of the row itself, which remains unresolved.

 

He wonders if he should have let himself be reassured like that by Lestrade: Look, I can't stand the guy, but you do know you're in with a chance there, don't you?

 

Whatever that means.

 

Lestrade does know more about these things than Sherlock. Practically the only thing he knows more about than Sherlock, of course. On the other hand, he wouldn't tell Sherlock on what basis he was asserting his hypothesis, which is not so reassuring in retrospect. Just made some silly joke about it sticking out like a sore thumb.

 

John is much too sensible to mind those things Sherlock said in the heat of the moment.

But Sherlock is vaguely aware that people do mind, though he's never quite understood why.

 

And it would have been a better idea to lock the door, or at least shut it. Not that he had known things were going to turn out like that with Lestrade, who had started out just being friendly and surprisingly helpful and then -

 

-Christ, Sherlock.

 

Lestrade's voice in his head, hoarse and pleading. It really would be better not to cloud his mind with these recollections, but they seem to have a will of their own. Lestrade's face, changed and undone, his eyes unfocused with the approach of orgasm. The unexpected weight and feel of him in Sherlock's hand.

 

None of this is helping Sherlock to think about the row. Except that he knows, intellectually and a bit more than intellectually, that it wasn't good that John had walked in while they were doing that. Inconvenient for Sherlock and more particularly for Lestrade (though he'd made up for that later). But not good for John.

 

The other voice in his head, John Watson's voice, furious:

 

Can you not even be bothered to shut the fucking door before you start having sex on the fucking sofa? Mrs Hudson might have come in. Anyone might have come in.

 

It would have been a nuisance if Mrs Hudson had come in, though she's pretty broadminded (“there's all sorts these days”). And anyway Sherlock knew she was out. He'd told John that.

 

But it is much worse that it was John who walked in on them.

 

Sherlock's cheerfulness is evaporating, leaving a residue of unhappiness and anxiety he hadn't even realized was still there. He's annoyed now at Lestrade for distracting him, and annoyed at himself for being distracted. He's even a bit annoyed at Lestrade for talking to him about what had happened with John. Or rather, what hadn't.

 

Bloody Lestrade playing at being the amateur therapist, a thing Sherlock absolutely does not need. He's always been impatient with people who want to talk things over or open up about their feelings. Pointless nonsense.

 

But he feels as if there are things he would like to say to John, though he's not sure exactly what they are.

 

It really is very quiet in the house. He probably ought to have a shower and get dressed properly instead of lying around any longer in his dressing-gown. Then he'll look in on John and see if he wants to go out for dinner. He's really quite hungry, though he hadn't been aware of it before.

 

He opens the door onto the landing and sees, to his surprise, a mug of tea on the floor. Some of it has been spilt on the carpet. He checks the temperature: stone cold.

 

He knows Lestrade couldn't have left it there, the hurry he was in. And Mrs Hudson is still out. Which leaves John.

 

Tea would be nice. Would have been even nicer if John had actually given it to him while it was still hot, Sherlock thinks -

 

And suddenly finds himself wondering just how long ago that was.

 

There is, of course, one very obvious reason for not giving a mug of tea to the person that you've presumably just made it for.

 

A locked door between you and them.

 

Sherlock's mind is on the other side of that locked door, looking at John Watson with a mug of tea in his hand. John Watson, hearing what's going on between Sherlock and Lestrade in there. The image of it is so vivid that Sherlock feels slightly sick.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a suitcase in the hall that definitely wasn't there earlier.

 

He doesn't like the way this is shaping up at all.

 



Chapter 4

 

 

John is sitting in the pub, an untouched pint in front of him. It was probably a mistake to meet Clara, but he'd wanted to get out of the house. It's the first time he's seen her since she and Harry split up. They don't talk about that.

 

He knew that might be awkward when she rang up a couple of days ago to suggest meeting. But he'd always liked Clara, who'd almost made Harry bearable for the short time they were together. And at that point he'd assumed it would be fun to tell her all about Sherlock. Was even a bit excited about it. Because Sherlock was – is, still – the most amazing person John has ever met.

 

Not that that's any consolation right now.

 

So what's your flatmate like?” Clara asks.

 

A genius,” says John, because this is still true and the easiest thing to say. “Extraordinary – quite extraordinary. I've never met anyone like him.”

 

I looked at his website,” Clara says. “Can he really do what he says he can?”

 

Yes,” John says. This is the bit where he would have told Clara about that amazing conversation in the taxi – the “Afghanistan or Iraq?” bit, obviously, and how Sherlock had worked out he'd been on military service abroad. Not the bit about her and Harry splitting up and Harry's drinking. Or he could have told her about the amazing way Sherlock had worked out in seconds all those things about the dead woman in pink.

 

But instead he sits and looks at his untouched drink, trying not to think about this afternoon.

 

Clara's phone goes off; she looks at it and pulls a face.

 

Sorry,” she says, “I'd better take this.”

 

It's fine,” he says. “It's OK.”

 

He is sitting in the pub with Clara, but his mind is back in 221b Baker Street.

 

 

 

Coming downstairs to make a cup of tea, making one for Sherlock as well, thinking maybe they can try to talk about what happened earlier. Though he should have known that wasn't going to work. For God's sake, you're dealing with a man who clearly has no understanding of human emotions.

 

That thing about Rachel, for example.

 

The dead woman's daughter. Stillborn daughter, died 14 years ago. The woman had been trying to scratch her name on the floor in her last moments.

 

Sherlock's complete incomprehension: But that was ages ago, why would she still be upset?

 

The silence in the room, so loud that even Sherlock knew he'd got something wrong.

 

The odd way he turned to John, as if John could help him.

 

-Not good?

 

-Bit not good, yeah.

 

You'd have to be pretty stupid to expect someone like that to care about anyone else's feelings. Or notice they existed, even. Or have any themselves.

 

You'd have to be pretty stupid to let yourself care about someone like that.

 

 

Clara's conversation is still going on; it's work, of course. Something gone wrong with a court case she's preparing for, some idiot has lost a vital piece of evidence. Sort of thing he'd have told Sherlock about afterwards, see if he had an idea about it. If he'd been going home – back to the flat, he corrects himself – after this. He's still not sure about that.

 

 

 

He can't get the sounds out of his head.

 

They were pretty unmistakable, so it's not surprising.

 

Standing there on the landing like a complete fucking idiot and loser, mug of tea for Sherlock in one hand, other hand on the door about to open it -

 

and then the noises start on the other side of the door.

 

Lestrade groaning, Sherlock laughing, the laugh being smothered, a lot of bumping around and things being knocked onto the floor, and -

 

A sort of Oh, between pleasure and surprise. Not Lestrade's voice.

 

Scalding heat of the tea slopping from the mug over his fingers and onto the carpet.

 

Putting the mug down outside the door, carefully as if it might break. Going upstairs for his half-packed suitcase, never mind finishing the packing, enough there for overnight anyway, leave it in the hall and come back for the rest of his stuff later.

 

Walking past his stick in the hall, the one he doesn't need any more because Sherlock was right and his therapist was right and it was psychosomatic. Even if running around London chasing a taxi is a pretty weird sort of cure.

 

-That – is the most ridiculous thing I've ever done.

 

Leaning against the wall in 221b with Sherlock, out of breath and laughing, Sherlock saying And you invaded Afghanistan. Giggling helplessly. There's been – there was – a lot of that. Laughing with Sherlock. Best not to think about that.

 

So he doesn't need the stick any more. He can walk out of 221b Baker Street just like that. Out of Sherlock's life, too, which is obviously what Sherlock must want, given that he's with Lestrade.

 

Said he didn't have a boyfriend, why would he have said that if it wasn't true? Maybe it wasn't, then. Maybe it's only just happened. Maybe if he'd done something different, said something that morning when he woke up with Sherlock -

 

He can't possibly want to be involved with Sherlock. Not like that. You'd have to be mad to want that.

 

Clara is making apologetic faces. He gestures to her empty glass, see if she wants another. She mouths “Thank you.”

 

He goes to the bar to get it. His phone beeps.

 

The message says

Come at once

221b Baker Street

Urgent

SH

 

He deletes it.

 

The phone beeps again, seconds later. Same message.

 

He deletes that too.

 

The third message, astonishingly, says

Sorry about earlier

SH

 

John doesn't think of “Sorry” as being in Sherlock's vocabulary.

 

He deletes the message.

 

He's still angry but there's something else, a sadness that makes his throat tight again.

 

Phone beeps.

 

Another message.

 

Just one word and the initials this time.

 

Didn't think that was in his vocabulary either.

 

Please

SH

 

John hits Reply. Texts and sends:

 

Fuck off

JW

 

It ought to make him feel better, but somehow it doesn't.

 

He switches his phone off and takes Clara her drink.

 

She's still on the phone, but says to the person at the other end, “Hold on a minute. I'm so sorry, John. This is just going to go on for hours, and we haven't had a chance to talk at all.”

 

It's OK,” John says. “It's fine.”

 

He says that a lot. Even when it isn't.

 

I think I might go back to the flat,” he says. “Feeling a bit under the weather. Can we do this another time?”

 

Clara looks relieved; she can get on with her work call without feeling guilty. “OK,” she says. “Stay in touch, yes?”

 

Yes,” John says, meaning No.

 

He gets his coat and goes out into the night air. Thinks he might walk around for a bit. Not going back there just yet. Maybe later.




Chapter 5

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