Title & Link: Spin Glass
Pairings & Rating: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mature
Warnings/Content Notes: Post movie
Title: True North
Pairings & Rating: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, PG
Warnings/Content Notes: None
Summary: How to make your flatmate stop playing his bloody violin in the middle of the night in three easy steps.
John had never thought he'd miss having nightmares.
Closing his eyes on the blank expanse of his bedroom ceiling, John took a deep breath and tried to will himself to sleep. It shouldn't have been hard, in theory. He was bone-tired, and exhaustion was muddying his thoughts until all he could think of was sleep. He just needed a few minutes to commit to it and-
Downstairs, Sherlock's violin made a noise like a cat being strangled.
John's eyes snapped open again. So much for sleep.
Sherlock had been carrying on like this for nearly an hour. It was a frustrating enough habit during the day, but it was truly intolerable when John had to be up for work in a few hours' time.
After several months of cohabiting with Sherlock, John considered himself fairly well versed in the man's idiosyncrasies. He just wished that Sherlock had been more precise about what, exactly, he meant when he said he 'played' the violin, because John wasn't sure this counted.
Angry banging echoed through the flat, accompanied by some muffled, yet creative, cursing; John figured that it was probably the neighbours. Mrs. Hudson had partaken in her own fair share of angry banging about half an hour ago, but she didn't usually swear at the same time.
A particularly shrill note was all the answer that Sherlock gave which, predictably, only made the banging get louder.
John was roundly sick of the lot of them.
Honestly, he thought he'd rather earned a night off. Sherlock had had them both running off their feet with his most recent case; John hadn't had more than four hours rest at a time in nearly a fortnight. And he didn't regret one mad moment of it, but now that the case was done, all John felt was old and worn out and weary. Sherlock should have been about the same; he usually crashed like a falling tree after a case as intense as this one.
Instead he was carrying on like the soundtrack in a horror film.
John groaned and buried his head under his pillow. It didn't help.
Sherlock's violin fell abruptly silent, and John held his breath, hardly daring to hope. The moment stretched for five seconds. Fifteen seconds.
Then the cacophony started all over again.
"Right," John said, pulling himself out of bed. "That's it."
Because being used to Sherlock's antics and being resigned to them were not even remotely the same thing.
He marched out of his bedroom, not bothering to make his angry descent down the stairs sound less like the footsteps of a charging rhino. Sherlock was standing at the window with his back to John and his violin propped under his chin; he didn't so much as twitch at the sound of John's approach.
John stopped a scant arm's length away and waited.
Sherlock continued to saw at his violin like he was trying to do it a damage.
"Sherlock!" John hissed, because at least one person ought to be mindful of the fact that it was three o'clock in the sodding morning. "Would you stop that, for God's sake?"
Sherlock gave no indication that he'd even heard him, so John did the entire block a favour: he seized the end of Sherlock's bow in a firm grip and yanked.
The violin made a startled dying-cat sound and fell silent.
The sudden absence of noise was deafening.
"That. Is. Enough," John said firmly.
The fingers of Sherlock's left hand continued to shift along the strings for a few seconds before he seemed to rise from whatever fugue state he was in and went abruptly still. His eyes flicked over to John's hand, wrapped securely yet mindfully around the bow.
Had John's grip been any looser, Sherlock's sudden, violent jerk on the bow would have pulled it out of his hand before he'd even realized that Sherlock had moved. As it was, all the movement managed to do was to send him stumbling a few steps forward, uncomfortably far into Sherlock's personal space.
"Let go!" Sherlock demanded, in a voice that was more growl than words. His arm flailed madly about, like a marionette with its strings cut.
"Not if you're going to keep on making that racket!" John shot back.
Sherlock yanked on the bow again, abrupt and demanding.
Irritated, John yanked back.
The situation quickly escalated from the world's most bizarre game of tug of war to something more like an actual fight. Or, as much of a fight as they could have in the flat, in their night clothes, while they were both holding the bow and Sherlock still had his violin in the other hand.
Which was decidedly not what John had been planning on doing when he came down the stairs, but he couldn't deny that it was better than staring at his ceiling.
Sherlock's violin ended up on the sofa at some point; John didn't notice him offloading it, but he definitely noticed when Sherlock's suddenly-empty hand nearly collided with his nose. Which he considered total justification for the knee he drove at Sherlock's gut in retaliation.
He was definitely blaming the fact that they ended up on the floor, rolling around like a pair of rambunctious children, entirely on Sherlock.
The inevitable end to their tussle, of course, was Sherlock flat on his back on the rug, thrashing like a mad thing with John's weight slung over his hips, pinning him to the floor.
"Are you quite finished?" John demanded, his body throbbing with several bright pains that would be bruises come morning.
Sherlock made a wordless noise of disgust, tugging against John's grip on his wrists.
"I'm not letting you go until you calm down."
That earned him a look of such loathing that John was dimly impressed he didn't spontaneously catch fire. "Why must you be such an idiot?"
"I'm just lucky that way, I guess." Despite himself, John softened slightly at the manic, almost agonized expression on Sherlock's face. "Maybe you should go to bed. You could use the sleep."
Sherlock's lip curled into a sneer. "Is that your expert opinion?"
Infuriating man. "Yes, actually, it is. You've been subsisting on tea and genius for far too long; your body needs rest."
"I need to play."
"You can play tomorrow." Preferably while John was at work and didn't have to listen to him.
Another derisive sound. "Wrong."
John would not sigh. It wouldn't get him anywhere. "Explain it to me."
"You say it like it's easy," Sherlock accused, the words tumbling out in the rapid-fire delivery that John was most used to hearing at crime scenes. "Maybe your dusty little brain can merrily turn itself off and go to sleep, but people who actually use their minds for something other than taking up space in their craniums can't just flick a switch and be done with it. Controlled stimuli facilitates the process. The music is necessary!"
"And that gives you the right to keep me and everybody else up?" John demanded, because he was never going to win this fight if he gave Sherlock so much as an inch to run with. Belatedly realizing that he was all but yelling in Sherlock's face, he let go of his wrists and sat back on his heels, legs folded on either side of Sherlock's bony hips.
"I'm not keeping you up."
"Oh, yes you bloody well are. Look," John said, pinching the bridge of his nose. "You keep this up and the neighbours are going to call the police, and Lestrade's team will never let you live it down. I'm sorry you can't sleep, but we need to find you something else to do to wind down. "
Sherlock's expression was unreadable. "We do, do we?"
Sometimes John forgot how fast Sherlock could move.
One minute, he was sitting across Sherlock's lap and determinedly not thinking too hard about that fact, and the next the world was spinning as Sherlock took advantage of his relaxed hold to reverse their positions. John's head hit the floor with enough force to make lights flash in front of his eyes, and his breath escaped in a rush as Sherlock pinned him swiftly in place.
"Well then," Sherlock said, looming into John's personal space with feverish hunger scrawled boldly across his face. His body was a long, unbroken line of heat and muscle where it pressed John into the ground, and the pressure was having a definite effect on certain parts of John's anatomy. "Have you some other suggestion for something to… distract me?"
Oh. Oh, God.
John probably looked like a right fool, gaping up at Sherlock in open-mouthed shock, especially because he wasn't entirely sure he had any right to be surprised right now.
Because not gay wasn't always the same thing as straight, and John wasn't, he hadn't ever, but it would take a man even more practiced at denial than he was not to see that he'd pretty much built his whole life around Sherlock bloody Holmes, and he'd be lying if he said he'd never thought about it, about how much else they could be to each other.
He'd just never really expected it to happen.
Sherlock's eyes were trained on his face, cataloguing every thought that flashed across it, damn him.
Then Sherlock's grip loosened. Fractionally. Deliberately. A reminder that John could get out of this easily, that he could push and Sherlock would yield, that he could slink back to his room and the whole mess never need be mentioned again. Sherlock could go back to torturing his violin, and John could go back to his nightmares.
It wasn't as difficult a decision as it probably should have been.
The corner of Sherlock's mouth lifted. Amused. Smug. Irresistibly dangerous.
"John," he said, and John for the life of him couldn't tell if it was a demand or a prayer.
Not that it changed his answer either way.
"I told you," John said, in a voice that was as steady as the hand he tugged free to thread through Sherlock's riotous hair. "It's all fine."
He arched up as Sherlock bent down and, as their mouths met, John had the vague, half-hysterical thought that he might never sleep again.
Oh well. Sleep was overrated, anyway.
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