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fic: Sherlock and the Cactus

Title: Sherlock and the Cactus
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: none
Wordcount: ~750
Disclaimer: They're still not mine.
Summary: Sherlock has a close encounter with a cactus; John has a sleepless night.
A/N: This fic was requested by kalypso_v, who also betaed and made the icon to go with it. My thanks to her and to the crack fairies –blooms84, crocodile_eat_u, ginbitch, thimpressionist and turante – for their encouragement and brilliance. Particular thanks to blooms84 and ginbitch for a couple of crucial elements.   Who knew a fic this short could take a village? 

Sherlock and the Cactus

“Mycroft never used glue,” Sherlock says.

He stares disapprovingly at the drying coat of Gloy on his hand. They'd had to go to the Early Learning Centre to find it, which isn't helping his mood. Never liked the stuff, even at primary school. He'd eaten some once, in a spirit of experiment, which hadn't been a good idea at all.

“Mycroft wasn't a doctor, last time I looked,” John says, with quite unnecessary sarcasm. “And medical science may have moved on just a bit in the last twenty-five years.”

“Why don't you use tweezers?”

“I told you, we're not doing that unless we have to. The spines could break off under your skin.”

Medical science. Huh. Sherlock grimaces.

“It's no good making faces,” John says. “If you'd been paying attention in the first place –”

“Yes, thank you, that's not helping!” Sherlock snaps.

Molly had been sorry afterwards. Well, she'd said she was.

He'd been vaguely aware of the cactus over the last few weeks, but hadn't noticed she kept moving it a little closer to the microscope with each visit. Until today, when he saw the solution to the case staring up at him through the lens and thumped the desk with a yell of triumph...

Sherlock winces. He is not going to buy that woman another cactus. Or a pot plant of any kind. Whatever John says.

Some of the spines come off with the repeated layers of dried glue, eventually. But there are still an awful lot of them left. Sherlock looks reproachfully at his hand, and then at John.

John sighs.

“OK,” he says, “we will have to use the tweezers after all. Happy now?”

Sherlock scowls at him.

“Need to soak your hand first, try to loosen them,” John says.

The soaking takes ages, and the business with the tweezers seems to be going on for hours. It's quite painful. Maybe the cactus he'd tried to shake hands with as a child had had fewer or bigger spines. These little ones are needle-sharp and hell to get out, even though John is careful and tender. Sherlock grits his teeth and tries to distract himself by observing the pattern and spread, the number and depth of the spines in different areas.

When the last one is finally removed, John dresses Sherlock's hand.

“Should I give you a lollipop?” he asks.

“Shut up,” Sherlock says.

“Maybe a badge?” John suggests. “I've got one that says I was brave at the doctor's.”

“You're only being like this because I'm incapacitated and can't defend myself adequately,” Sherlock complains.

“Huh,” John says. “You wouldn't say that if you knew what I really wanted to do to you.”

Sherlock feels an unexpected stirring of interest.

“Oh bloody hell, look at the time,” John says. “We have literally been up all night with this.”

Outside the sky is getting lighter, the first red streaks of sunrise starting to show. John starts putting the lights off.

“Hardly worth going to bed when I've got to get up again in an hour,” he grumbles.

“Oh, I wouldn't say that,” Sherlock says.

“Thought you were supposed to be incapacitated,” John says.

Sherlock looks at him hopefully and John starts laughing. He puts his arms around Sherlock and kisses him, gently at first, then not so gently.

“Where does medical science stand these days on kissing it better?” Sherlock asks.

“Still doing clinical trials,” John says, deadpan. “Apparently it works like acupuncture, or reflexology.”

“Psychosomatic, then?”

“More a matter of applying pressure to other parts of the body,” John says, giving Sherlock a pinch on the backside that makes him yelp. He kisses Sherlock again.

“Mm,” Sherlock says. “Oh.”

“Working already, is it?” John teases him.

Sherlock can't think of a clever reply, because John's kissing his throat in a way that makes him cling on to him with his good hand.

“Come on then,” John says. “Latest research suggests some patients respond better when they're horizontal.”

Trying to keep his bandaged hand out of the way makes getting undressed and what follows a bit complicated. But Sherlock quite enjoys complications. Making love with one hand tied behind your back must be a bit like this, all odd angles and restraint and –

“Stop it,” John says. “Whatever it is you're thinking, I know it's trouble.”

“Can't,” Sherlock says. It's true. He never can stop himself thinking.

John can stop him, though. And he sets about doing just that.

Definitely worth it, Sherlock thinks, while he still can. Even the glue.

It always is.


kalypso_v's original request is in the comments to this entry

NB: the glue used in this fic may not be the right kind for the purpose.  Don't try this at home.


( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 5th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I do have one spare icon slot this week, so I can't resist filling it with a cactus, if only briefly.

Like the new explanation of the accident. And all John's sarcasm. And of course Sherlock enjoys complications, they're a challenge...
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
hurrah for cactus icons! very glad you enjoyed it. the new explanation was ginbitch's idea and it made me very happy.

thank you again for the icon and the beta!
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I adore this sneaky, vengeful Molly. (And Sherlock would do better to listen to John and buy her another plant. Preferably something not potentially harmful in any way)

Lol, now I want the badge thata says 'I was brave at the doctor's'.

The backstory with Mycroft is so cute... it also reminded me of a little plotbunny I had for their childhood...
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! very glad you enjoyed it. *grins*

sneaky Molly was ginbitch's genius suggestion.
(no subject) - ginbitch - Feb. 6th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fengirl88 - Feb. 6th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
Naughty, naughty, Molly! But that's ok, John will make it all better.

“Whatever it is you're thinking, I know it's trouble.”

No matter what, you cannot let that man alone in his head too long. God knows what he'd come up with.

Feb. 5th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
thank you - yes indeed, John will make it all better!

and yes, the inside of Sherlock's head is a dangerous place...

Feb. 5th, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
Duct tape works well for removing cactus spines as well, fyi. But only if there's a bit of spine poking out. Like if its too small to get w/ tweezers w/o pain, but you can feel it poking out a bit, then duct tape will generally do the trick. Mostly. =)

Great fic. And Molly totally did it on purpose. Angry about Jim, no doubt.
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - for the comment and for the tip!

oh yes, Molly did it on purpose. Sherlock should have been nicer to her in the first place, though as this ends happily for him he's probably not going to learn from it...
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
thank you very much!
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
That is entirely too adorable.
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
eee, thanks! glad you liked it.
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
I'm grinning like a madwoman. Thank you!
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams*
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
Oh thats adorable, thanks! Poor benedict, well it makes for a good story in interviews!
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
thank you! yes, it does. very glad you enjoyed it.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
he certainly can - as blooms84 reminded me. thank you!
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
thank you!
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
I just heard that story last night, and I immediately thought it was a total Sherlock thing to do! You did a great job taking the childhood incident and then bringing it into Sherlock's adult life! Also, Doctor Watson can patch me up anyday!

thanks for this!
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! I enjoyed BC's story but was struggling to think how to make it work for Sherlock, so ginbitch's idea about Molly's revenge made me very happy.

and yes, Doctor Watson is just what the patient ordered.
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Mean Molly.
Loved the interplay and the glimpse of Mycroft acting as doctor to a young Sherlock.
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams*

yes, it felt good to have a brief moment of Sherlock appreciating something Mycroft had done, rare as that is...
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! very glad you liked it. *grins*
well, I wouldn't want to be the cause of any medical mishaps...
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Cuuuuute, I love it when John has to patch up a cranky Sherlock and you do it so well! I am sure it was COMPLETELY unintentional on Molly's part to put the cactus just there, yep.
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
thank you! *glows happily*

one of these days I will write serious h/c, but today is not the day. cranky Sherlock is too much fun to write!

I think Molly had been planning this for quite a while...
Feb. 5th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
I loved the 'I was brave at the doctor's' badge and medical science on kissing it better. I'm not sure that you can still get Gloy glue, though, and certainly not at the Early Learning Centre. I suspect it was really purchased at some kind of obscure corner shop, which you have been forbidden to reveal - because if anyone can find the one shop in London that still stocks it, it would be Sherlock. Or maybe there is a corner of Mycroft's warehouse where he keeps emergency supplies of all the things that Sherlock enjoyed using aged 7?
Feb. 5th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I enjoyed writing those parts particularly so I'm glad you liked them!

as for sources of Gloy...
*tries to look knowing and mysterious. fails*

Mycroft's warehouse sounds promising as a source of emergency supplies.
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( 52 comments — Leave a comment )


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