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[personal profile] pipmer1
Title: Unspoken
Writer: PipMer
Status of work: Complete
Characters and/or pairings: Sherlock/John unresolved, Mycroft Holmes, Irene Adler
Rating: Teen
Contents: missing scene, pre-slash, drugged!John, mutual pining, angst, prompt fill, John's Missing Wednesday
Warnings: non-consensual drug use, spoilers for The Sign of Three
Length: 2800 words

Summary: Sherlock wanted to test a hypothesis. About John. He wanted a question answered that he couldn’t just ask, at least not under normal conditions, because John would never tell him the truth about that.


Author's note: This was written for Part A of the prompt found here. Many thanks to both [livejournal.com profile] prettybirdy979 and batik for betaing and for awesome suggestions/feedback. Also much gratitude given to Ariane_Devere for use of her transcripts, which are found here.


**SEE THE END NOTES FOR A POSSIBLE SPOILERY HEADS-UP**




=====================================================



TEN O’CLOCK THURSDAY MORNING





John groaned, squeezing his eyelids shut against the sudden brightness.  He rolled onto his back and threw his arm over his eyes to block out the offending sunlight.  Throbbing pain radiated against his skull, reminiscent of his worst hangover - the one the morning after Mike’s stag do.  He tried and failed to lick his chapped lips with his too-dry tongue and cleared his throat against the cottony feeling that begged for moisture.

What the hell had he done last night?  And more to the point, what time was it?

Without opening his eyes, he reached out and fumbled around the top of his bedside table.  His hand slapped against the alarm clock and a hardcover book before settling on his phone.  He snatched it up and curled his body away from the window.  He brought the phone close to his face and opened one eye.

Ten o’clock.   Fuck.  He was going to be so late.  John threw the covers off and sat up, swinging his legs off the bed.  Grimacing, he scrubbed his hands over his face and through his hair.  No time for a shower.  Hopefully there was coffee in the flat.  Untainted coffee.

He wrapped his dressing gown around himself and stumbled out of the bedroom.  Halfway down the stairs he stopped and braced himself against the wall.  He had to shut his eyes until the dizziness subsided.  Shit, if this doesn’t pass soon I may have to call in.

John shuffled into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of cold water.  After chugging it down in three swallows, he started opening cabinet doors.  Thankfully there was actually coffee in the flat – and the coffee maker was even clean and ready to use. Miracles sometimes do happen, John thought as he set about brewing an entire pot’s worth.  No time to drink a cup here; he would just pour the entire thing into his Thermos and take it with him.

On his way to the bathroom to splash cold water on his face and take some paracetamol,  John noticed Sherlock sitting in his chair, a book raised in front of his face.

“What are you doing here?  I thought you were going to Barts this morning.”

“That was yesterday.”

John blinked.  “Oh. All right.  Well, gotta get ready, I’m already late for work.”

“It’s Thursday, John.  You don’t work on Thursdays.”

John frowned.  “That can’t be right.  Last night I watched – “

“Wrong.  Today’s paper is on the kitchen table, if you don’t believe me.”

John went back into the kitchen, where there was indeed a copy of The Sun with Thursday’s date.

Huh.  He could have sworn it was Wednesday.  It felt like a Wednesday.  Well, he had only been on this new schedule for a month; he must just not be used to working only a four-day week yet.  It still felt a bit off when the fifth day rolled around and he realised he didn’t have to go into work.  Either that, or his flatmate was rubbing off on him.  The man rarely knew what day it was, given his lack of a regular schedule.  Which made the fact that Sherlock did know slightly… disturbing.


“Right.  In that case, I’m going to go take a long hot shower -- wake up properly.  Help yourself to some of the coffee.”  As John walked past the sitting room, he could feel the detective’s eyes tracking his every step.  A chill that had nothing to do with the temperature shivered up his spine.  He put the unsettling feeling out of his mind as he stepped under the spray and gave himself over to the comforting warmth.





THIRTY-SIX HOURS EARLIER




Sherlock pretended to be working on his laptop.  In actuality, he was observing John as his friend enjoyed a session of crap telly.  The show was idiotic in the extreme, yet never failed to put John in a good mood, no matter how crap the rest of his day had been.  At these times John’s guard was down, making him more likely to accept gestures from Sherlock without suspicion.  Which was why, twenty minutes ago, Sherlock had offered him some homemade biscuits.  Biscuits which had, in fact, been baked by Sherlock himself.  With a couple of extra ingredients thrown in.  For science, Sherlock would claim.  But that wouldn’t be the real reason.  The real reason was a far more personal one.


Sherlock wanted to test a hypothesis.  About John.  He wanted a question answered that he couldn’t just ask, at least not under normal conditions, because John would never tell him the truth about that.  Sherlock was pretty sure he had made the correct deductions, but if he acted on insufficient data, the results could be disastrous.  He couldn’t risk being wrong this time.  He needed rock-solid proof, right from the horse’s mouth.  So to speak.



Then, and only then, would Sherlock make his move.


The set-up had taken a lot of planning.  Sherlock had surreptitiously created a makeshift laboratory in 221C.  Well, Mrs Hudson knew about it, obviously.  He paid for two months’ worth of rent with money from his trust fund, and swore her to secrecy.  Over the course of several weeks he developed a brand new compound that rapidly metabolised and that was virtually untraceable, because, well, it was a brand new compound.  Both safe and efficacious, of course.  Wiggins tested it on him several times and took copious notes before he was ready to introduce it to his flatmate.   Sherlock knew exactly what to look for and what to expect.  He was as prepared as he was ever going to be.


If John ever found out he would likely kill him, but the potential reward, in Sherlock’s mind, was well worth the risk.


“Any plans for tomorrow?  Or are you going to be in your mind palace all day?”


Sherlock blinked as he returned to the present.  “Just some testing at Barts in the morning.  I need to run some samples.”


“Mmmmm.    Soil?”


“Blood.”


“Of course, I should have realised.”  John smiled at him sleepily as he brushed a crumb from the corner of his mouth.   Sherlock’s heart skipped a beat at the sight.  “Animal, I hope?”


Sherlock hummed and shrugged.  John just laughed.



Several minutes passed in comfortable silence.  Sherlock watched as John’s eyelids grew heavier and heavier, until finally his eyes stayed closed for more than three minutes.  Sherlock silently set his laptop aside and walked over to the armchair.  He gently removed the remote from his friend’s hands and turned the telly off.  He bent down and popped the footrest up, then pushed the chair into the recline position.  Sherlock took the blanket from the couch and draped it over his friend.  He straightened up and watched John sleep for a few minutes before retrieving his laptop and settling in on the couch to make up a spreadsheet for his upcoming observations.



TWENTY-FOUR HOURS EARLIER


The scene was set.  Sherlock had called into John’s work earlier that morning, citing a stomach bug.   This way instead of losing one of his scheduled days off, he would gain an extra unscheduled one.  John would be proud of him for his thoughtfulness, Sherlock decided.


John sat in his armchair, a placid and relaxed look on his face.  He held a steaming cup of tea in his hand.  Tea with milk (plus a couple of extra ingredients).  Sherlock sat on the couch with his hands clasped in front of him, his eyes glittering as he stared at John.  John just smiled back..

All right then,” Sherlock announced.  “John, I’m leaving for Barts soon, and I won’t be back for a few hours.”  He pointed at the coffee table.  “I’d like you to keep drinking from that teapot until you’ve consumed every last drop.  Could you do that for me?”

“Of course I can, Sherlock,” John replied easily.  Sherlock couldn’t help but wince at the submissive tone in his friend’s voice.  Thank goodness it was only a temporary effect of the drug; Sherlock wouldn’t be able to tolerate a John Watson who was consistently so pliable.  But for now it served his purpose quite handily, and he only felt a tiny twinge of guilt that was quickly quashed.  He had promised John after Baskerville, It won’t happen again.  Technically he was keeping his promise, because this wasn’t the same.  This time his intent was not merely to confirm a theory; there was so much more at stake now than simply solving a case.  He was doing this for them, as much for John’s sake as for his own.



“Very good,” Sherlock replied.  He jumped up and strode into the kitchen, where he opened the refrigerator and retrieved a small vial of blood he had collected a few hours earlier.  He pocketed the sample and made his way out of the flat, leaving a subdued and oblivious John behind.


A few hours later, Sherlock returned to a flatmate who seemingly hadn’t moved from the position he had been left in.  He was still sipping from a steaming cup of tea.  Sherlock walked over and lifted the teapot – empty.  He nodded approvingly.  There should be enough drug in John‘s system now to be at its most effective.  For data comparison purposes he collected another sample of John’s blood, meticulously labelled it, and placed it in the fridge.


Finally, everything was ready.  Sherlock took the empty tea cup from John’s hand and set it down on the coffee table.  He grabbed his laptop, sat on the sofa and opened up his spreadsheet.  He cracked his knuckles, placed his hands on the keyboard, and regarded John intently.


“I’ll be asking you a series of questions, John.  I know the answers to the first few, but please respond anyway.”


All right.”


“What is your full name?”


“John Hamish Watson.”

“How old are you?”


“Forty-one.”


“What is your sister’s full name?”


“Harriet Marie Watson.”


“Who is your best friend?”


John smiled, and the look of adoration on his face made something funny happen to Sherlock’s stomach.  “You are, of course.”


Sherlock had expected this answer, and yet actually hearing the words in John’s actual voice stirred up the butterflies even more.  His throat suddenly felt dry.  He swallowed hard before continuing.


“The following questions will be a bit more personal, but I’d appreciate it if you would still answer honestly.  In lieu of giving me false information, just speak up if you’re uncomfortable answering.”


John nodded.  “Fair enough.”


All right.  John, are you gay?”


“No.”


“Are you bisexual?”


“Yes.”




“How long have you known that you weren’t completely straight?”


John stroked his finger across his upper lip and furrowed his brow.  “Not long, really.  Maybe about a year?”


Sherlock set his laptop aside and leaned forward intently.  “How long have you and I lived together, John?”


“Err – almost eighteen months?”


“Sixteen months, two weeks and five days.”  Sherlock waited for a typical John retort, something along the lines of “You know that, but you can’t be arsed to know what day it is?”  It didn’t come, of course, and Sherlock berated himself for expecting it.  He shook himself and cleared his throat before breaking the brief silence.


“How many men have you been physically attracted to?”


John bit his lip and squirmed in his chair.  “Just – just one.”



“Were you in a romantic relationship with this man?”


“No.”


“Did you want to be?”



John flushed and hesitated minutely before answering.  “Yes.”



“You said that I am your best friend.  Do your feelings go beyond platonic friendship?”



John’s smile faded.  Sadness shone from his eyes as he replied, “Yes, they do.”


Sherlock swallowed.  “How far beyond?”


“Look, Sherlock;  I find it difficult, this sort of stuff.”


“I know.  That’s why we have to do it like this.  How far beyond?”


“I care far more deeply for you than a best mate should.”


“What do you plan on doing about it?”


John blinked, surprise warring with panic on his face.   “Nothing, of course.  You’re not interested in that sort of thing.”


“But what if I were?  Interested in that sort of thing?”


“You’re not.”


“But what if I were?”


John licked his lips.  “If you were, I’d tell you that I love you.  And that I’m yours, if you’d have me.”


Warmth bloomed in Sherlock’s chest and his eyes suddenly burned.  He blinked rapidly as he tried to keep his roiling emotions at bay.


“Oh, I’ll have you, John Watson,” he said, voice low and rough.  “Never doubt that.  I’m not letting you get away now.”


John gave him a shy, tentative smile..  “Does that mean I can kiss you?”


“Oh, no; not yet.  I want you to remember our first kiss, and you’re not going to remember anything about this day.  In a few days, though.  I’ll approach you in a few days, and we’ll get ourselves sorted.“ He smiled a rare, genuine smile.  “I promise.”



TWELVE HOURS EARLIER



Sherlock had just made sure that John had settled into his bed for the night  when he received  a text alert.


Urgent.  Call me in fifteen minutes. – MH


Sherlock’s stomach plummeted.  There could only be one reason his brother would leave such a message, and he wasn’t ready to deal with it right now.


Regardless, fifteen minutes later he dialed a secure line.


“Mycroft.”


“Sherlock.  Things are progressing far more quickly than we had anticipated, and in unexpected ways.  We need to meet and plan contingencies.”


“How far have things progressed?”


“We had to let Moriarty go.”


A chill crept up Sherlock’s spine.  “When?”


“Just five hours ago.  We need to prepare, and quickly.”


“Right.  When do you need me?”


“Immediately, if possible.”


Sherlock looked up as he heard the creak of bedsprings.  “I can leave here in an hour, will that suffice?”


“That is acceptable.”


“I’ll see you soon.”




THE PRESENT



Sherlock watched John enter the bathroom.  It was only after he heard the tell-tale sound of gurgling pipes that he set his book down, pulled out his phone and sent a text.


Confirmed that feelings are requited.  Moriarty situation escalating.  Suggestions?  --SH


The Virgin asking for my advice?  How unexpected.  Should I be concerned?


Only about Moriarty.  If he can get to me, then he can get to you as well.  Now, answer the question. –SH


Ah, but unlike some, I don’t have a pressure point that can be exploited.  Now is not the time to give your enemy any more ammunition to use against you.


Be clear, if you can. –SH


My point, Sherlock, is that you should let all this blow over before attempting to get any closer.  You don’t want to put him in additional danger, do you?


So I should wait. –SH


Up to you; far be it from me to tell the Great Sherlock Holmes what he should or should not do.


I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t want to know your thoughts on the matter. –SH


My opinion is that you should have made your move a long time ago.  Honestly, Sherlock, it’s been clear to everyone else for months that he’s head over heels in love with you.  But right now,  I advise waiting until the storm is past.  It’s not like his feelings are going to change any time soon.


Just remember, once things have settled, don’t hesitate.  His feelings may remain, but he won’t wait forever.  I do guarantee you that.


Thank you –SH




Several thoughts raced through his head as Sherlock continued sitting and staring into space.  He desperately wanted to go to John right now -- to tell him, well, everything. But what Irene said made sense.  If he and Mycroft played their cards right, this whole thing could be over in a matter of weeks.  Best be patient and ride it out.  They’d waited this long, after all; a little longer certainly couldn’t hurt.


Two months.  He’d give it two months, and if Moriarty hadn’t been neutralised by then, he’d risk everything and approach John.  Caution was one thing, but avoidance was quite another.  Now that he knew without a doubt where John stood, there were no more excuses for delay.  Best to act before the situation reached critical mass.



__________________________________________________________________________





Six weeks later, the headline of The Sun proclaimed:  SUICIDE OF FAKE GENIUS.



Two years after that, the reunion Sherlock had imagined hundreds of times never materialised.  Instead, he was introduced to a woman by the name of Mary Morstan.







“Now John I’d poison.  Sloppy eater – dead easy. I’ve given him chemicals and compounds that way, he’s never even noticed. He missed a whole Wednesday once, didn’t have a clue.”





FIN




_________________________________________________________________________


**I don't want to give anything away, but for those who don't like surprises: heed the tags. All of them. This fic does contain angst. That is all.**



Thanks for reading! If you wish you can follow me at pipmer.tumblr.com.



Date: 2014-06-09 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellieet.livejournal.com
Oh, poor Sherlock! *hugs him* I know he does a dodgy thing here, but that's our detective for you.

Question: what are all those links attached to certain words? I'm curious...

Date: 2014-06-09 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opaljade.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed reading this! Insightful and in character. Well done!

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