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Title: The Reverse Side of Fascination
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Characters/Pairings: Harry Watson, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, pre-Sherlock/John
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 5,175
Disclaimer: This is a transformative work of the BBC’s Sherlock, which itself is a transformative work. Fun, not profit!
Warnings: Alcoholism, somewhat creepy tattoos
Notes: Originally wrote this over a year ago, got distracted by robots, didn't finish it, have now decided it's done. Gotta post it before Harry shows up in canon and it gets jossed. :P Title from this Schopenhauer quote: “Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.” Thanks to call_me_ishmael for the beta.
Summary: Harry Watson is used to not knowing why she does things. Inviting Sherlock Holmes out to lunch is still one of her more baffling whims, but it's also one of her best.




-

She doesn't normally answer calls from withheld phone numbers. The only time she answers the phone automatically without looking is when she's drunk, but this time she doesn't even have that excuse. She's standing barefoot in her kitchen cooking scrambled eggs, and she answers the phone before the display on the screen registers.

"Hello?"

"Harriet Watson?" Her name in that deep masculine voice sounds strange.

"Yes?"

"Excellent, you're not intoxicated. Did your brother break his left ankle as a child?"

"Who the hell is this?" Harry asks, dropping her spatula onto the counter with a clatter.

"Sherlock Holmes. Did John break his ankle?"

"Oh, the flatmate. How did you get my number?"

"It doesn't matter. Answer the question."

"What will you do if I don't?"

Harry doesn't know a lot about her brother's flatmate--just what she sometimes reads on John's blog. She and John haven't actually seen each other in months, but she reads his blog because she likes keeping track. She likes the voyeuristic feeling of reading the details of someone else's life--it hardly matters whose life it is.

"If you don't tell me I will simply check his medical records."

"God, you're as bad as you sound from the blog."

"Oh, the blog. John has a slight ridge on his left ankle, suggesting a childhood injury. His medical records will tell me the injury exists. I want to know how it happened.”

“He fell out of his bedroom window when he was seven, trying to fly. He had wings made out of newspaper. Why have you been examining John’s ankles?” She picks up the spatula again and prods the eggs, which are starting to look a bit brown. She moves the pan off the stove and turns it off. Her feet are beginning to get cold.

Sherlock sounds confused. Harry wants to laugh. “He was trying to fly? Why on earth did he think such a stupid idea was going to work?”

“Well, he was seven. Didn’t you ever think you could fly when you were a kid?”

“Of course not.”

Harry dumps her eggs on a plate and fishes the long-cold toast out of the toaster. “Should’ve known.” Harry cradles the phone against her shoulder as she butters the cold toast. Sherlock is silent; she wonders if he’s hung up. “How is John?”

“Fine.” Something about the way he says it--there’s more there than can be comfortably encompassed by the word, or he wants there to be more. Harry runs her cold toes along the bottom of the yellow kitchen cupboards and smiles, faintly.

“Do you want to have lunch?”

“What?”

-

The restaurant is her choice, the day is his. Noon on a warm grey Tuesday in May, not very far from where she works--a boring but stable office; strange that she should be the one to have the normal life everyone predicted for John.

The minute she gets off the phone and starts contemplating their appointment, her life feels a little less normal. A side-effect of being in contact with Sherlock Holmes? She feels like she’s just arranged a tryst with a lover--she’s done that before, she knows what it feels like. Something illicit. Delicious and irrational.

She gets drunk the night before. Not very drunk--she’s tired; she falls asleep on the sofa before she has a chance to pour another glass of vodka. In the morning she wakes up bleary, and drinks the last half inch still in the glass to get the sick taste out of her mouth.

She keeps an eye on the clock all through morning, and just before it’s time to leave for lunch she goes to the loo and puts on lipstick, finger-combs her hair. She’s hoping to avoid looking too transparent, still wondering why Sherlock agreed to their meeting.

The photo on John’s blog doesn’t prepare Harry for the reality. He sits down across the table five minutes after she arrives, still wearing a large black overcoat. Christ, he’s pale. He stares at her for a moment, and she wonders what he’s seeing. Her resemblance to John? They have the same colour hair, the same round chin. Not the same nose, thank God. They’re not so similar that they’ve ever looked like twins, but maybe that makes it more interesting for Sherlock. For all she knows he’s comparing their genetic makeup, extrapolating the likely appearance of their parents.

“Hello,” she says.

Sherlock is silent a moment longer, still examining her. “I would ask you why I am here, but you don’t have an answer.”

Harry considers this. She’s used to not knowing why she does things, has long ago embraced the habit of deciding on whims and only questioning them in the aftermath. It’s a bit of a dangerous habit but it makes life more interesting. “Does John know you’re here?”

“Does John know I’m having lunch with his sister? Of course not. He’s at work. Doubtless he assumes I am at home in my pyjamas.”

“You lie around in your pyjamas a lot?”

“Only when the rest of the world is being boring.”

Harry opens the menu in front of her--fairly ordinary Italian food, but she likes their ravioli. She knows what she’s going to order; the menu is a prop. “John used to get bored.”

“John still gets bored, he simply pretends he doesn’t.”

“That’s why he’s living with you, then. So he never gets bored. That explains a lot.”

Sherlock leans back in his chair, tapping his fingers on the table. He’s easy on the eyes--not that she’s interested, obviously, but she wonders if John is. Her brother has never been as straight as he claims to be, the idiot. “You get bored,” Sherlock announces.

“What?” Just then the waiter comes to take their orders. Harry, slightly flustered, orders the ravioli she likes. Sherlock orders a cup of coffee.

“Aren’t you going to eat anything?” she asks.

Sherlock’s mouth twitches, amused. “You’re more like John than either of you are comfortable with. That’s why you don’t get on.”

“Did he tell you we don’t get on?”

“Oh, please. He didn’t need to tell me that. I know perfectly well you and John haven’t communicated in months, apart from one-sentence blog comments and the occasional text message. Negligible, as far as communication goes. No, you both get bored. John finds safety boring. You are bored by emotional stability and your job.”

“I like having a boring job.” Harry’s not in denial about that; it’s true. She likes going to work and doing the same things every day, it means she doesn’t have to think about working. It’s going home to routine that makes her skin itch as though it’s shrunk in the wash.

Sherlock’s eyes narrow. “All right.”

The waiter, a muscular ginger-haired man, arrives with Sherlock’s cup of coffee. Sherlock stops him with a hand on his arm as he turns to go. “Don’t leave your wife for her,” he says, nodding at a waitress across the restaurant. “She’s planning to move to America, and I’m sure you’d rather not go there.”

The man’s eyes widen. “How did you--”

“Never mind, just take my word for it.”

Sherlock pats the man’s arm and he leaves their table, looking dazed.

Harry grins. “That looked like fun.”

“Oh, excellent, you’re not going to have one of the boring reactions to my deductions. Even John likes to remind me that isn’t socially acceptable.”

“I like startling people,” Harry says, shrugging.

Sherlock leans forward, elbow on the table clattering against his silverware. He examines her face, her neck, her chest. She feels a bit naked, but she always rather liked the dreams where she accidentally went to school naked. Exciting.

“You’re dressed for work,” Sherlock says. “But in your off hours you wear several more piercings in your ears. You have a tattoo above your left breast.” Harry opens her mouth to ask, but he answers preemptively. “You’ve touched the spot several times. You’re overly conscious of it. You like knowing it’s there. What’s it of?”

“A heart. A proper heart, I mean, not a stupid Valentine’s Day one. And the skin over it peeled back.”

Sherlock looks delighted. “May I see it?”

Harry looks around the restaurant, shrugs, and undoes the top two buttons on her blouse to peel it aside. The tattoo looks bloody and surprisingly realistic, like someone cut a window in her skin and opened it up. “The suggestion of vivisection is sufficiently startling, I suppose. Has John seen that?”

“Nope. He’s too much of a doctor. I mean, he’s seen people’s insides, but he still sort of thinks they’re sacred, doesn’t he?”

“Yes,” Sherlock says, sighing dramatically. “He objects to my more anatomical experiments.”

The poor waiter brings Harry’s ravioli, and slips away again without looking at Sherlock or asking if they need anything else. Harry could use more water, but she’s clearly not going to get it, so she just steals Sherlock’s untouched glass.

“Do you drink because it dulls the boredom, or because it shocks people?” Sherlock asks.

“I drink because I’m an alcoholic,” Harry answers.

“Yes, that’s why you drink. That isn’t why you continue to drink. If you didn’t have any other reasons, you’d have made a proper effort to stop, especially after the dissolution of your marriage.”

“You are an awful arse, aren’t you?”

Sherlock smiles slyly at her, as though he’s enjoying it. He probably is.

“How does John put up with you?”

“As you said. I keep his boredom at bay.”

Harry stabs a ravioli with her fork. “I wonder if you’d be able to keep me from being bored.”

She shouldn’t be surprised when he takes it as a challenge.

-

Harry doesn’t actually realise he’s taken it as a challenge until two weeks later, when she gets a text as she’s leaving the office.

Go home and be bored or
come to 21 Portman Square.
SH


And once again, Harry doesn’t look before she leaps. She goes to Portman Square.

Harry has always made decisions like this, turned left instead of right before she had time to think about it. John used to overthink things; he used to be so bloody careful. The contrast is one of the reasons they never got on. Later, when she’s leaning against the inside of her front door and breathing heavily, Harry wonders if this is how it happened for John, the first time. Did he get a text like that, an address and an offer? Did he pause to consider it?

Maybe he didn’t. Maybe he’s changed. Maybe Harry and her brother are more alike than they would prefer to admit.

Or maybe Sherlock is special, maybe he brings out a part of John that was always readily present in Harry.

Sherlock’s so tall and striking she sees him from half a block away, standing on the other side of some crime scene tape. He catches her eye over someone else’s shoulder, and looks just amused enough to be irritating. When Harry gets closer, the woman Sherlock’s speaking to distracts her--dark curly hair, and a look on her face like she has no intention of indulging Sherlock, which Harry is fast coming to respect.

“Hello,” Harry says.

“Sergeant Sally Donovan, Harriet Watson. John’s sister,” Sherlock says in introduction. He still looks amused. He’s probably watching the trajectory Harry’s eyes trace down the neck and over the collarbones. Harry likes a good set of collarbones. Her eyes slip lower. Good set of those, too.

“Do I have to warn another Watson off you, then?” she asks Sherlock. “It’s a crime scene, what’s she doing here?”

“John is working,” Sherlock says. “I think better when I talk aloud.”

“So I’m filling in for my brother?” Harry asks.

“You aren’t bored, are you?”

Harry has to smile. No, she isn’t bored. “Why do I need warning off?” she asks Sally.

“He solves crimes because he likes it, not because it pays. He likes it a little too much, if you ask me. Your brother’s crazy, but there’s probably hope for you, yet. Get a hobby.”

Having hobbies always seemed a little too sanitised to Harry.

“And seriously,” Sally adds, “I can’t let you into this crime scene. Two of them is bad enough.”

“Of course you can,” Sherlock says. Because apparently when Sherlock says it, it must be true.

They follow a line of watchful policemen inside the building they’re standing next to, and enter a furnished but uninhabited flat. A pair of blue leather gloves lie on the coffee table, the only thing that doesn’t count as furniture in the entire flat. A missing persons case, Sherlock explains, neighbours heard a break-in but the only thing out of order is the pair of gloves, belonging to a twenty-six-year-old woman disappeared a week ago somewhere between her flat in Soho and her work in a bookstore near Russell Square.

Harry got a glimpse of Sherlock’s ability to tell her about herself when they met for lunch, but until she sees Sherlock on a case she doesn’t really understand what John means when he says that Sherlock sees everything. She doesn’t have a chance to even consider being bored, but she does begin to worry, begin to comprehend the fact that everything John says on his blog actually happened.

By the time Sherlock solves the case it is ten o’clock, Harry is starving, and they’re in South Kensington. She can’t quite believe any of this is happening.

Sherlock is exultant, standing on the street and grinning, but he also looks impatient. He checks his phone twice, and glances at Harry.

“Where’s John?” she asks.

Sherlock shrugs, as though it doesn’t matter. “Right,” Harry says. “I’m going home and eating something. You’re going home and shagging my brother, or whatever it is you do. He must have got off work hours ago.”

Sherlock actually looks... caught. Maybe they really are shagging. Harry smirks at him. “This was interesting,” she says. “Not sure I ever want to do it again, but it was interesting. You’re an arse, but you’re a brilliant arse.”

“Am I supposed to say thank you?” he asks, sounding pained.

Harry laughs. “No. I can’t imagine you saying thank you for an actual compliment. Anyway, I don’t like being thanked.”

She flags down a passing taxi and climbs in, leaving Sherlock on the pavement. “See you around, Holmes,” she calls, and doesn’t wait for an answer before she slams the door.

-

Harry goes to the pub, gets drunk, and rings John. “John. Johnny. Hi, Johnny.”

“Harry...”

“‘S’okay, I’m not drunk.”

“You don’t call me Johnny unless you’re drunk.”

“Not that drunk,” she amends. She looks at the way the lights reflect off the surface of the bar, and giggles. “Tell Sherlock I say hello.”

“Okay. He’s out, I’ll tell him later.”

“Tell him to stop callin’ me Harriet, too.”

“What? You’ve never met him, how do you know he calls you Harriet?”

“Oops. Wasn’t s’pposed to say.”

“Harry?” John asks dangerously.

“Had lunch with him. Weeks ago. He took me to a crime scene.”

“He what?”

“Your flatmate, Johnny, is a ri-ridiculous wanker. ‘S’okay, though. I approve. Didn’t give him the ‘if you hurt my brother’ speech, though. You can take care of yourself.”

“Harry, we’re not--. Why did you have lunch with Sherlock?”

“Dunno. Thought I’d meet your flatmate. He’s all you talk about on your blog.” She takes another drink of her whiskey and swallows heavily.

“And he agreed?”

“Even liked my--wait, no, not telling you about that. Not drunk enough.”

“You’re plenty drunk. Go home, Harry.”

“How d’you know I’m not home?”

“You’re in a pub. I can hear someone ordering a drink.”

“Woah. Is this what happens when you hang ‘round Sherlock? You can d-deduce things too?”

“Christ. Where are you? I’ll come and take you home.”

“No, I’m fine. I can get a cab.” She sets the phone down on the counter and fishes cash out of her purse, laying it very deliberately on the bar, and then struggles into her coat. “You’re not going to let me drink you can at least keep me not bored,” she says in the direction on the phone, before she picks it up again.

“--are you doing? Harry?” John is saying when she puts the phone back to her ear and begins an attempt at the obstacle course between herself and the door.

“Bye Johnny,” Harry says brightly. “See you soon.”

She hangs up on him and goes outside to find a cab.

-

“Soon” turns out to be fifteen minutes later, as John discovers when he opens the front door of 221B and finds his sister on the front step.

They do look like each other. Obviously relatives, though nothing like twins. At the moment, though, John looks friendly and respectable in jeans and jumper, while Harry’s short hair is rumpled and she looks, very clearly, like she’s been drinking.

“Stop looking so disappointed, John,” she says, pushing past him inside. She stands in the hallway and looks at the wallpaper, the doors to 221C and 221A, the stairs.

“You’ve stopped calling me Johnny.”

“Sobered up a bit in the cab,” she mutters. “Upstairs?”

She doesn’t wait for an answer, already wondering what she’s doing here. She doesn’t actually care why she’s here, is just hoping it will be interesting.

The living room door is open, and Harry steps inside, looking around curiously. “You ever think about tidying up in here?” she asks, no bite to the question. She spots the skull on the mantelpiece. “Sherlock’s last flatmate?” she asks, with a jerk of her chin.

John laughs, which rings strangely in Harry’s ears. She doesn’t remember the last time she made her brother laugh. “Could be,” he mutters.

They both jump when the front door bangs open. Harry turns to look at John, but John looks down the stairs. “Sherlock,” John calls. Footsteps pound up the stairs, and Sherlock appears next to John in the doorway, looking over his shoulder at Harry.

“Ah,” Sherlock says, and brushes past John into the room. Harry sees John shiver.

Sherlock stands next to the coffee table, hands in his coat pockets, looking the siblings over. “How drunk is she?” he asks John.

“Hey!”

“Not drunk enough to call me Johnny,” John answers. “She did earlier, though, when she rang to tell me you’ve been meeting up, having lunch, going to crime scenes together. She also wanted you to stop calling her Harriet.”

Sherlock snorts, looking disgusted. “Are you jealous, John?”

“Sorry, what?”

“You do have a history, I suppose. Your sister meets your friends, and suddenly they become her friends, her wife. That is what happened with Clara, yes?”

Harry crosses her arms at the mention of Clara, and looks at John, half curious.

“Not to worry, John,” Sherlock continues. “I have no intention of becoming your sister’s wife.” Harry giggles. “Have a cup of coffee, Harriet.”

“Fuck off, Holmes,” she says pleasantly.

Sherlock shrugs his coat off, drapes it over the arm of the sofa, and opens the laptop on the table. Harry and John watch as he types something in. “Where’ve you been to?” John asks.

“Bart’s. Running some tests.”

“I brought home a curry two hours ago. It’s in the fridge now.”

“Not hungry,” Sherlock says.

Harry shrugs, kicks off her shoes, and sits down on the sofa.

“One of you is going to tell me how you two wound up making friends,” John says, and sits down in his armchair.

“Friends?” Sherlock says to Harry. “I wouldn’t say that.”

“No, certainly not,” Harry agrees. “Friendly enemies, maybe.”

“Didn’t you tell me once people don’t have enemies in real life?” Sherlock says, still looking at John’s laptop.

“I did, yeah. I think it’s just you. You don’t live in real life. You live in an adventure novel.”

“Of course I don’t live in an adventure novel. It’s your blog that makes it sound like one.”

“Anyway,” John interrupts. “Harry?”

“He rang to interrogate me, so I invited him out for lunch.”

“And he agreed?”

“Data, John,” Sherlock says.

“I think he’s researching you,” Harry says. “He came to lunch because I’m your sister.”

“I should be used to this kind of thing by now,” John says, getting up and going into the kitchen to make Harry a coffee.

Harry curls into the corner of the sofa, tucking her feet up and slouching comfortably. “Why weren’t we telling John?” she asks, just softly enough that John won’t be able to hear it. “Don’t get me wrong. I like keeping secrets from my brother. But I want to know why I’m doing it.”

“It was hardly planned,” Sherlock says to the computer screen. “You, I imagine, failed to inform John because you don’t speak to John.”

“But you live with him.”

“You should know as well as anyone that people don’t tell things to the people they live with.” It sounds meaningful. Sherlock has a point, and it’s not the kind of point that makes Harry comfortable.

“You’d have had a reason, though.”

“It wasn’t relevant,” Sherlock says. He turns, finally, and looks at her. “What are you doing here?”

Harry gives him a slightly dopey grin. “I got bored.”

-

She falls asleep on the sofa. In a dreamlike state where her limbs feel heavy, her eyes are closed, and her mind is slow, but her ears are still working, Harry hears John ask quietly, “You took my sister to a crime scene?”

“I took you to a crime scene, didn’t I?” Sherlock answers.

After that Harry doesn’t hear any more.

She wakes up early in the morning, covered by a scratchy wool blanket, mouth dry and head aching.

“Nnngh,” she says, digging her way out of the blanket and poking her head up. She is temporarily blinded by the light streaming in the windows.

When her eyes adjust, she sees John sitting in the same chair he sat in last night, looking over the top of a newspaper at her.

“How’s the hangover?” he asks.

“I‘ve had worse,” she mutters, holding the blanket up so it blocks some of the light.

“Yes, I’m sure you have.”

“Oh, what do you know?” She sits up slowly, and looks around the room. “What’ve you done with Sherlock?”

“He said something about knitting needles and went out.”

“Him? Knitting? I can’t see it.”

“God, I hope not,” John says. “The books and experiments are bad enough, we don’t need balls of yarn everywhere.”

“I take it you’ve been busy with Sherlock. Is that why you haven’t phoned in ages?”

“Harry....”

“No, I know. He’s got a lot of energy, I see how you’d be busy.” She injects an extra spot of innuendo into it, and John frowns.

“You haven’t seen him between cases,” he says.

Harry doesn’t know what that means. John makes it sound very unpleasant. “Is there tea?” she asks.

“Water’s probably still hot,” John answers, not moving.

Harry gets up, trailing her blanket, and makes her way into the kitchen. She doesn’t bother to ask where things are, just finds a mug that looks reasonably clean and opens cupboards until she works out where John keeps the tea bags. She makes her tea, drinks it leaning against the counter and looking out the back window, and then goes looking for the loo.

Once she’s washed her face, swallowed a couple of paracetamol, and tamed her hair, she feels slightly more prepared to deal with her brother, who as usual is being very stubborn.

Sherlock is still absent. Harry finds her shoes where they are lined up against the wall (John’s doing?) and slips them on. “I’ll get out of your flat now,” she says. John grunts at his newspaper. “Tell Sherlock I said cheers. And if you’re not shagging him, you should be. He’s very fit.”

“Go away, Harry.”

She goes. For now.

-

Harry never hears the fallout from John’s revelation that his flatmate has taken his sister to a crime scene. She simply goes home and gets on with things.

A week later she’s sitting in a mediocre sandwich shop, on her lunch break, when her mobile rings. The screen tells her Sherlock Holmes is calling. This is suspicious, since she never programmed Sherlock’s number into the phone. Sherlock must have done it while she was asleep on his sofa.

“Hello?”

“Harriet. Tell me about John’s recovery after Afghanistan.”

“You only put up with me because I give you dirt on my brother,” Harry accuses.

“My primary goal in furthering our acquaintance is to form a more complete picture of John’s history and character, yes. You also might make an interesting study, however.”

Harry is, despite herself, rather flattered. She knows already that Sherlock’s interest is hard won. “Not sure how I feel about being studied,” she says.

Sherlock ignores this. “Now, John’s recovery.”

“He was in hospital in Birmingham after they shipped him back here,” she begins.

“Ah, Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Of course. Go on.”

“Why don’t you ask him this?”

“Talking about his injuries makes John uncomfortable.”

“I thought you liked making people uncomfortable.”

“Making John uncomfortable rarely produces desirable results.”

Harry laughs. “Plus you like him and want him to be happy.”

Sherlock clears his throat. “The information, Harriet.”

“Yes, fine.”

She tells him what he wants to know. The more Sherlock knows, the more he can do for John.

-

June 28th is the anniversary of their mother’s death. It is also the one day a year when John does not protest Harry’s drinking. He joins in, instead.

Two days before, Harry sends a text to John.

rat and kettle, friday at 7?

assuming we haven’t got a case, yeah.

tell sherlock and his case to fuck off.
this is tradition.


She hears no word to the contrary, so she goes home after work to change her clothes and then heads to the Rat and Kettle. It’s the closest pub to the cemetery, which is why they’d originally gone there together after the funeral and got drunk. Harry isn’t exactly sure how this became a tradition, but she likes stupid traditions so she enforces its observance.

It’s not a very popular pub, never more than a handful of locals sitting in the corners when they’ve been there, so Harry spots John as soon as she steps in the door. He’s sitting at a booth on the other side of the room, nursing a pint of beer and idly watching the telly mounted over the bar. Harry crosses the room and dumps her purse down on the table, peeling off her coat.

“Sherlock let you off, then?” she asks, sliding into the seat across from John and grinning at him.

“He’s been sulking all over all the furniture for the last two days.”

“Should’ve brought him along, he could probably use a night out.”

John scoffs. “Sherlock doesn’t do nights out unless they’re for a case. And I didn’t think we brought people to this. You never brought Clara.”

“You were off in Afghanistan most of the time I was with Clara.”

John winces. “Can we--”

“Yeah, all right. D’you need another?” She gets up and looks down at John, who nods.

Harry flirts with the woman behind the bar, no real intention in it. This isn’t the night for anything more than the harmless sort of flirting.

When she gets back to the table, Harry asks, “So why is Sherlock sulking?” and slides John’s drink across to him.

“Hasn’t got a case,” John says to his beer. “He gets bored.”

“Don’t we all,” Harry mutters.

“Nobody else does boredom quite so... enthusiastically, as Sherlock does.”

Harry snorts. “He probably looks positively Byronic, lying on the sofa being bored and melodramatic about it.”

John must already be well ahead on his drinks, because he actually blushes. Harry whistles, and laughs. “You’ve been looking, haven’t you?”

John shakes his head and takes a gulp of his beer. “Not what I’m here for, Harry,” he mutters.

“Fine, fine. We’ll just reminisce depressingly and drink enough not to remember it tomorrow.”

John takes her at her word.

-

For once in her life, Harry’s brother is drunker than she is. More drunk? Drunker? She is definitely still drunk, obviously. Drunk enough that texting Sherlock seems like a really excellent idea.

stop sulking, ccome and habe
a drinks.


You clearly do not need any
more drinks.
SH


fine. not sure can get johnny
home saafe. help?


Harry presses send and laughs hysterically into her vodka. Sherlock turns up ten minutes later.

John vomits on Sherlock’s shoes as soon as they get out of the pub. Sherlock looks disgusted, and he mutters something inaudible, but he doesn’t actually say anything and he doesn’t push John away. Harry suspects that if she had done that, Sherlock would have just walked away.

“Sherlock,” John slurs. He wipes his mouth on his sleeve and then presses his face against Sherlock’s shoulder. His head moves back and forth; it looks disturbingly like he’s breathing Sherlock in. Harry laughs.

“Are you done?” Sherlock asks. John nods. “And you’re not about to join in, are you?” Sherlock says to Harry, who shakes her head.

Sherlock has his arm around John’s waist, and John is hanging onto his shoulder with both hands. They stumble toward the end of the street, Sherlock stopping them along the way to wipe his shoes against a patch of grass. When they get to the next street Sherlock manages, miraculously, to flag down a taxi.

“You’re really good at that,” Harry tells him, staring.

“I don’t do drunks,” the cabbie says, realising what state they’re in.

“I tip extremely generously and can promise they won’t vomit,” Sherlock tells him, reaching for his wallet.

The cabbie looks dubious, but the promise of Sherlock’s tip seems to dissuade him. Sherlock does look like he has the money for a good tip. “In,” Sherlock says, pushing Harry in the back. She climbs into the cab and slides across the seat. Sherlock dumps John in; he lands half on Harry before she shoves him off. When Sherlock gets into the taxi and pulls the door shut, John curls against him, twining his hand in Sherlock’s coat.

“He’s always been a handsy drunk,” Harry tells Sherlock.

Sherlock almost looks flustered, which Harry finds thoroughly hilarious. She laughs accordingly.

“Y’have nice hands,” John murmurs, pushing his nose into Sherlock’s neck.

This sets Harry off again. “Do shut up, Harriet,” Sherlock says. He wraps his arm around John’s back, tucking him in more securely, and looks pointedly out the window.

“Anniversary of Mum’s death,” Harry says. “We always do this. So be nice to him, yeah?”

“I am never nice.”

“Not to me, no. Not to anyone else.”

And maybe even that isn’t true.


Comments

tartancravat
Nov. 17th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yay, thank you!

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Canon?
tartanfics
Parce que c’etait lui, parce que c'etait moi.

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