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fic: Unpredictable

Title: Unpredictable
Author: fengirl88

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters; story follows on from elements of A Study in Pink - BBC Sherlock series 1 episode 1. SPOILERS.

Summary: Sherlock wakes up with a strange bedfellow and finds that his brain is not working properly.

Rating: 15 (currently lower, but may develop)
Sherlock/John slash.  Some sexual content; may be more in later chapters.


Chapter 1


He wakes up knowing there is someone in the bed with him. He knows it’s nearly dawn, and that he is at home in 221b Baker Street. But his brain - uncharacteristically - appears to be refusing to work. Will not tell him who it is in bed with him or how they got there. Of course he could just turn round and look, see who it is that’s taking up space, who’s stopping him from splaying his long limbs across the bed as usual. But for some reason he can’t fathom, he doesn’t want to do that.

The scent of this other person is not yet familiar to him and yet it’s not completely strange either - he just doesn’t expect it here. In his bedroom. In his bed. He associates it somehow with a conversation he can’t quite pin down, not long ago. In a taxi. A different journey from the one he remembers more clearly, the one last night that took him so close to death. That thing he’d been half-wanting for so long: release from the sheer boredom of being alive and alone in a world of fools who see nothing, no, who understand nothing.


Not bored now, are you? The murderer’s question, just last night; he remembers that all right. He wasn’t bored then and he is not bored now. But he doesn’t understand why his brain is not working properly. This never happens.


It’s not a hangover - he knows, though not recently, what those are like. It’s not the coming down after a high - or not a chemical one, anyway. He’s thirsty, but that may be from eating Dim Sum late at night.


Dim Sum. His mind jolts as he looks at the shape he can just discern on the bedside table, a broken fortune cookie with a scrap of paper still inside it. He can’t remember what it says; just an echo of conversation last night, something that feels like part of a sequence. His own voice, and another one.

- I can always predict the fortune cookies.

- No you can’t


- Almost can.

The new voice in his head, contradicting him: wearily amused and a bit exasperated and utterly matter-of-fact. It’s the voice of the other person in the bed, he knows that now. The man he met for the first time the day before yesterday. The man who shot the murderer. Who saved his life. The man who seems to ask rather a lot of personal questions, given how indignant he gets when people think he and Sherlock are an item. His new flatmate. John Watson


What he’d told John last night was true: he’s married to his work. He doesn’t go to bed with anyone, hasn’t for years, though he and Lestrade have come close a few times after the end of some particularly taxing case. What’s the point of wasting all those brain cells on sex? Sherlock may not know the workings of the solar system but he knows about Renaissance physiology and the science of humours, that theory that each orgasm brings you closer to death, drains your blood and your vital forces. Drains your creativity too: there goes another sonnet, as some poet or other apparently used to say.

So sex is a distraction he avoids, not least because he hasn’t found a way to do it without consequences, a way that doesn’t involve people, somehow, even if only in his mind. And there just isn’t room for people in his mind. Their breath fogs the glass so he can’t see properly any more.


He doesn’t know why he thinks of breath, and then he does: the breath that’s stirring the hairs on the back of his neck. The physical presence of John Watson, giving off more heat than a radiator, the man must be running a fever or - His mind snags again on a memory from last night, no, this morning, the small hours of this morning, after they’d come back still laughing from the restaurant and gone to their separate beds. Hearing the sounds of someone, not someone, this someone, John Watson, caught in a nightmare, Sherlock doesn’t know what about. Doesn’t know either why he went into John’s room, shook him more or less awake, offered to share his own bed for the rest of the night. In the cold light of dawn this makes no sense at all.


But then much of what he’s doing at the moment makes no sense, and making sense doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason to do things any more. Something instinctual, animal almost, is reaching out from him to this damaged man with his unforgivable taste in clothes and his psychosomatic limp and his daft sense of humour.


It’s taken a long time - measured against the speed his brain usually goes, it feels like years - but he finally understands why he’s lying so still. He doesn’t want to move because he doesn’t want John to wake up and turn away, embarrassed, get out of bed as quickly as possible, as he knows John must. As he knows he would do, in the circumstances, except ... Except he hasn’t done that. It’s very perplexing and irrational, but he recognizes that he doesn’t want this to stop. He wants to stay here with John’s body next to his, the heat of him and the unfamiliar-becoming-familiar scent of him, and his breathing, the breathing of a man deep in sleep, not in nightmare now, Sherlock’s doing, such a simple thing to take pleasure in, but he does.

John shifts a little, stirs, and Sherlock thinks this is it, he’s going to turn away now - but instead something wholly unexpected happens. John’s arm, heavy with sleep, flung over him. The shock of it would make him motionless if he weren’t already trying so hard not to move.


John’s arm is lying across him, and John’s hand. Is lying. Almost. Now he can’t even form a sentence. What the fuck is wrong with him?

He knows, and he doesn’t want to know. Knows enough about therapy, in theory at least, to understand denial as the thing that’s been blocking his memory, short-circuiting his brain. Knows, too, that you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to detect what’s happening to his body, the way the blood rushes to that part of him so close to John’s hand now.


He might like to think of himself as asexual or as married to his work, but his cock seems to have other ideas. John’s hand, so close yet not quite close enough, almost touching him, and the ache of that almost is unbearable and he wants to move and he daren’t because then it will all stop and he doesn’t want it to stop.

In spite of himself, and in spite of his fear of waking John, Sherlock can’t help letting out a little sound of frustration; barely a murmur. But he hears the change in John’s breathing. Feels the arm lying across his body grow tense. Knows the man in bed with him is awake now.


Even in the last few minutes, the light in the room has grown stronger; it’s already morning. For the first time in his life, he realizes, he has nowhere to hide and no idea what will happen next.

Chapter 2

John sits on the edge of the bed looking at his suitcase. It's half-full, the first half of his packing done in a fury after that row downstairs just now. But he seems to have run out of steam, and now he's not sure what to do: keep packing or unpack his stuff and put it away again.

Bits of the row are still echoing in his head:


If my behaviour is so abhorrent to your pitifully conventional mind, may I suggest you fuck off back to your girlfriend? Bit of a weird sentence, even coming from Sherlock.

Girlfriend. Is that what Sarah is? He likes her, quite fancies her, but girlfriend, no, not exactly.

Girlfriend, no. Not really my area. Sherlock's words the other night, when they were in Angelo's. John winces again at the memory of that conversation and his own ineptitude.

So, do you have a boyfriend? Which is fine, by the way. Of all the stupid things to say.


Sherlock, sounding faintly amused: I know it's fine. Making John feel clumsy and naive and – well, never mind. And oh, God, then Sherlock thinking John was trying to get off with him.


He still couldn't work out how to read Sherlock's tone, except that it seemed, well, careful is probably the best word he can come up with right now:


John, I think you should know that I consider myself married to my work, and while I'm flattered by your interest-

John gets up abruptly and stuffs three more shirts into the suitcase. Doesn't even bother to fold them. He sits down on the bed again. Looks at the suitcase.


What did Sherlock mean when he said I'm not looking for anything? John was so busy protesting No - no – I'm not – I wasn't, that he hadn't really heard the end of what Sherlock was saying.

He thinks about the fact that everyone seems to assume Sherlock is gay, and quite a lot of people seem to think he and Sherlock are together. Mrs Hudson. Angelo. And he's had some very funny looks from Lestrade, come to think of it.

Lestrade. John realizes he's clenching his fists, which is a bit surprising. Unnecessary, too. He unclenches them again. Of course it was embarrassing, walking in on that, and he was quite within his rights to be furious with Sherlock for not at least shutting the bloody door. Sherlock is impossible. As well as amazing.

But surely whatever Sherlock wants to get up to with Lestrade is none of John's business. Or would be none of John's business if he hadn't just walked in on it. Oh bloody hell.


Probably didn't have to call Sherlock a stupid fucking egomaniacal exhibitionist though. That was a bit rude.


He can still feel the stinging contempt in Sherlock's voice: That is a ridiculous suggestion and utterly beneath you.

But that wasn't about calling Sherlock an exhibitionist. That was because of the other thing.

John takes the shirts out of the suitcase again. He should at least fold them, right? No point in having to iron them again when he gets to wherever he's going.

If he is going anywhere, that is.

The other thing.

Because of Sherlock shouting How was I supposed to know you were coming back? You're out all the time these days!

These days is going it a bit, John thinks, given they've only been living together – sharing the flat, he corrects himself – for a week.

Which conjures up Mycroft's annoying voice:


You met him yesterday, today you've moved in with him and now you're solving crimes together. May we expect a happy announcement by the end of the week? ... You're very loyal very quickly


and his own voice saying No. No, I'm not.

He is, though, come to think of it.


He seems to be thinking about everything except that thing he said, the one that Sherlock said was a ridiculous suggestion and - yes, yes, all right, you don't actually have to go through the whole thing again, do you?

The thing he doesn't want to think about. Doesn't even know why he said it really:


Are you being like this because of what happened the other night?

Whatever it was that happened the other night. He's still not absolutely sure if anything did.

The other night isn't quite right either, is it? Because really, it was the morning after when -

Why is it so difficult to think about this?

He supposes some people would have found the other night, really the other night, pretty traumatic. And God knows he was shit-scared at the time. Running along corridors, his heart pounding, desperate he wouldn't get there in time. And then seeing it, what was about to happen over there in the wrong fucking building. But then, thank God, the shot was right on target. And after that he was fine.

Tried bluffing it a bit with Sherlock, but he should have known that wasn't going to work:


Good shot.


Yes. Yes, it must have been.


Well, you'd know.

Sherlock looking down at him, serious and intent and something else John couldn't read


Are you all right?

He's not so sure he is now.

The morning after. Waking up in a strange bed. Not the strange bed he'd slept in the night before the other night, the bed he's sitting on now with his bloody suitcase half-packed and no idea what to do.

Sherlock's bed. With Sherlock in it.

All a bit embarrassing really. Especially waking up so close to Sherlock, practically hugging him. Must have been thrashing around in his sleep again. He's pretty sure the only reason he was in Sherlock's bed – though it's all a bit hazy – was that Sherlock had woken him out of yet another nightmare and said he could come in with him. Which was nice of him. Though maybe not ridiculously nice, given that John had just saved his life. But still.

Waking up so close to Sherlock.


He doesn't know why thinking of that should make him unhappy. But it does.


He doesn't really go in for casual sex, so he's not used to waking up with someone he hardly knows. Male or female.

Male's a bit of a first though.

So close to Sherlock he was almost -

For a moment there he'd been worried Sherlock would think he was making a pass at him.


Having an erection first thing in the morning doesn't necessarily mean that. There are simple physiological causes for these things.

But Sherlock did have one, didn't he?


He doesn't think he was imagining it.

He'd thought at first Sherlock was still asleep. He wasn't, though.


It's a bit difficult to know what to say in those circumstances. He'd muttered some kind of clumsy apology for invading Sherlock's personal space, for God's sake, and then asked if Sherlock wanted a cup of tea. Pathetic.

Not that he'd come up with anything better if he got another chance.

He's not sure why he thinks of it like that.


It might have been quite nice just to lie there for a bit if Sherlock had been asleep. It's a long time since he's shared a bed with anyone, and he misses the warmth of it, not just the heat of another body but the warmth inside when it's someone you're close to, someone you know well, someone you're used to -

Yes, he misses that. His throat is tight with how much he misses that.

Not sure what this all has to do with Sherlock, though. Or why he wishes Sherlock had been asleep so he could have -

What is the point of thinking like this when Sherlock is downstairs doing whatever he's doing with Lestrade? Which is, after all, none of John's business.

Some people think a row clears the air, but he's never seen it that way.

It was a pretty weird row to be having with your flatmate. Bits of it, anyway.

There really is no point in slamming out of the house with a half-packed suitcase and nowhere to go.

Might as well go downstairs and make himself a cup of tea while he's thinking what to do next.


He wonders if Lestrade has gone yet and what Sherlock's doing if he has.


Chapters 3 and 4


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2010 11:23 am (UTC)
And there just isn’t room for people in his mind.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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