Title: A Pocket Full Of Dreams
Characters: John, Sherlock
Disclaimer: As much as I may wish it otherwise, the characters and the show have nothing to do with me.
Summary: Sherlock needs to learn some boundaries.
A/N: It was supposed to be light hearted but somehow turned angsty! Woops. Thank you to flecalicious for beta-ing this for me.
This really was the last straw.
Eyeballs in the fridge, gunshots in the wall, screeching violins in the middle of the night, those John could deal with—he might not like them, but he could deal with them—but this. This was beyond John’s ability to handle.
He knew Sherlock was a difficult man to deal with, let alone live with, but as much as he complained about all of his ‘experiments’ and methods he enjoyed the deviation from the average, repetitive lifestyle most people experienced. In a way he felt lucky to have found someone to liven up his days, something he thought he’d lost after returning from Afghanistan.
When John had been a boy his mother had given him a pocket watch.
It was just an ordinary pocket watch, nothing all that special or unique about it. Inside had been a picture of her holding hands with John’s father, a content smile on her face. When John had turned fifteen his mother had suddenly fallen ill, cancer they’d said, incurable and ultimately fatal. From the day she’d died the ordinary pocket watch had been transformed into something meaningful. John took it everywhere; he never really used it, it was just a comfort to have it with him, to feel its weight, to remind him of a time of innocence and love.
He’d taken it to Afghanistan.
A war zone was probably not the safest place for a priceless sentimental object but it had seemed the right thing to do, and despite all the odds and a few close shaves it had survived the war in better shape than John himself.
Its meaning had altered slightly, though. He no longer craved for his lost innocence—instead he came to miss the excitement, the adventure of life. The watch symbolised the loss of a child’s unquenchable curiosity and wonder; it helped him cope with the dull monotony of a normal life.
Earlier that day John had gone to make his morning cup of tea, double checking that he’d picked up the sugar and not the arsenic or any of the other poisons Sherlock insisted in keeping in the cupboards.
That’s when he saw it.
The mangled mess of dulled silver, cogs thrown over the table and floor and a slightly burnt black and white photograph of a smiling woman and man.
John’s first reaction was denial. There was no way, absolutely none, that this could be his watch. Or what had been his watch.
Once it became pretty obvious that yes, that had been the once favoured pocket watch, John was mad—furious, even. He didn’t care what excuse Sherlock came up with, didn’t care if he’d done it to solve the biggest crime of the century or whether it had just been idle curiosity. This was too much, even for him.
How had Sherlock even found the watch? As far as he knew Sherlock hadn’t even known it existed, but then this was Sherlock. It was foolish to think he could effectively hide anything from the man who could tell you what your last meal had been simply from looking at your shoes.
The last time John had seen his priceless keepsake had been the night before on his bedside table. Which meant not only had Sherlock destroyed one of the last reminders he had of his mother and the life he craved, but he’d purposefully gone into his room, whilst he slept, and stolen it, apparently for the sole purpose of destroying it.
John could barely believe it. He knew what Sherlock was like, knew how little he cared for normal social decorum, but John had thought that there had been some boundaries, some lines even Sherlock in his most bored state would never cross.
Apparently he’d been wrong.
John was mulling over every possible way he could think of to kill or at least seriously injure Sherlock without the annoyingly observant man catching on too soon when he heard heavy footsteps behind him.
John spun round, focusing his fuming gaze on the dark haired man standing so casually erect before him.
“Ah, I see you finally found your way out of bed this morning,” Sherlock’s tone was infuriatingly calm, as if oblivious to the enraged man standing before him with murderous eyes.
John couldn’t find the words to reply.
Sherlock’s gaze fell to the table and the shattered remains of the pocket watch. “You know, for someone who was in a war zone, you sleep incredibly deeply.”
John’s spluttered reply was barely coherent. “I...you...wha...Why?” he finally managed to ask.
“You no longer needed it, and I wanted to calculate the force required to separate the back from the watch face.”
“But...I...What? So this was just the result of your idle curiosity? Because you were bored?” John had expected a better explanation, had hoped that there had been some purpose served by the watch’s destruction. Then what Sherlock said sunk in. “Wait, what do you mean, I no longer needed it?”
“Well, the watch was merely a symbol, a way for you to regain some of the excitement you lost after returning from the war.”
John really shouldn’t have been surprised by Sherlock’s astuteness—after all, he’d seen far more impressive deductions before. This had been so private though, so personal.
“You don’t need a pocket watch to remind you of the wonders of life anymore, to remind you of the adventures. You have me.”
Sherlock sounded so sure and so confident about his conclusions—John reluctantly admitted he was right.
If he was being honest with himself the watch had started to become less of a comfort a while ago. On several occasions now he had left the watch at home, no longer needing the reassurances that it had once given. In fact he had been taking it with him less and less since he’d met Sherlock, since his life had regained that spark of wonder and adventure. He was still mad, it had been a prized possession after all, but it no longer held the same meaning as it had done in the past.
“I still can’t believe you destroyed my mother’s pocket watch just to relieve your boredom, to test a theory. Not only that but you purposefully sought it out. You knew how much that watch meant to me, even though I didn’t even realise you knew about it, you knew it was important. People just don’t do things like that.”
John’s anger was ebbing but he wasn’t going to let Sherlock get away that easily—there was a principle involved here, even if his deductions had been right.
“If it helps the results from my little experiment have helped me to figure out the missing piece of the puzzle in the latest case.”
John tried to suppress a sigh. Sherlock would never change. That didn’t stop John from trying.
“Fine—but in future can you just let me work these things out on my own? You’re not wholly forgiven either, I expect you to do the laundry for the next three months, and to keep your experiments confined to one end of the kitchen table.”
Sherlock just smiled faintly.