Title: Inside out
Rating: M for constant sexual references and adult themes (but PLEASE tell me if you think it should be rated higher)
Disclaimer: This incarnation of Sherlock Holmes is owned by the BBC etc. The few original characters are mine but really hardly worth mentioning.
Spoilers: everything up to end series 2.
Warnings: messing about with gender roles
Pairing: John/Sherlock, Lestrade/Mycroft (if you squint)
Summary: John is spending far too much time in the shower. Sherlock decides he needs to find John a girlfriend.
Oh this was no good. Sherlock frowned as he realised John's shower had gone into its sixth minute. This was the third one of those showers this week and it was only Tuesday. John normally took 4.5 to 5.25 minutes in the shower. Except when he was masturbating and then he took 7.5 to 9.8 minutes.
Sherlock normally wouldn't even allocate any brain power for the topic, it was John's choice if he wanted to waste water resources in such a pointless fashion, but Sherlock had begun to notice a concerning pattern. Firstly, John had not had a date for well over five months and he hadn't had an actual girlfriend since that Mary woman he'd been seeing while Sherlock had been away, well over a year ago now. Secondly, this constant masturbation; it wasn't just the shower, Sherlock could identify at least four times in the past week when John had manually satisfied himself in his bedroom – his bedroom was directly above Sherlock's after all and it wasn't so much as what Sherlock heard as what he didn't that tipped him off, he'd hear the normal routine of John going to sleep, the click of the laptop, footsteps, light switch, then normally the thump and squeak as John twisted around and made himself comfortable for sleep, on those nights John lay unnaturally still, probably trying to be quiet so Sherlock wouldn't know what he was doing, and then after 8.2-10.3 minutes he'd get out of bed again, turn on the light, go to the bathroom, and then resume normal nocturnal activity. Thirdly, John was becoming increasingly moody and taciturn. Fourthly, the pornography, Sherlock could hardly use John's computer anymore, it was so full of viruses from the websites he'd been frequenting lately. One look at the browser history made Sherlock wonder if he'd stumbled into an alternate reality where the letter x was an essential part of any sentence. It was becoming appallingly obvious to anyone who cared to pay attention, and Sherlock did care, that John had a serious problem. He was obviously sexually frustrated and it was leading to an unhealthy reliance on internet pornography. Research had shown the detrimental effect pornography had on brain chemistry. John had always made an effort to look after Sherlock's health, well it was time he returned the favour.
"John," he said, when John emerged from the shower, clad in his dressing gown and towelling his hair dry. "You need to have sex."
John stopped drying his hair and looked at him, blinking. "Excuse me?"
"Sex, with a woman."
"Yeah well I've been saying it for…how long have we known each other? Four and a half years now and you've only just decided to listen."
"No I'm serious John. You are in danger of permanently affecting your neural pathways!"
"My - " John took a deep breath. "Ok, I'll bite, what are you talking about Sherlock?"
"You're obviously sexually frustrated, all this compulsive masturbation – and you're developing an unhealthy addiction to pornography, which science has shown is related to a decrease in oxytocin, an increase of opioids-"
John blushed. "All right, yes, I've read that article, thank you." He glared at Sherlock, which seemed hardly warranted, given that Sherlock was trying to help. "Sherlock, I'm hardly addicted and what I do in the privacy of my own room –"
"And the shower," muttered Sherlock darkly.
"How – nevermind- either way, it's none of your business!" John turned on his heel, he paused at the edge of the door. "And it's not compulsive!"
"John! We need to talk about this!" Sherlock called after him. The only response was the slam of John's bedroom door.
John fumed as he got dressed. Just because Sherlock Bloody Holmes was asexual didn't mean he had to be a monk. And it was Sherlock's fault anyway that he hadn't had a date that lead to anything more than a mumbled apology as he raced off in response to one of Sherlock's text messages. Something always came up. He'd stopped bothering, to be honest, it was too much effort just to get a date if he was going to end up cancelling it anyway.
There was a firm knock on the door.
"Go away Sherlock." He felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment again. Did Sherlock really know all the times he'd been having a wank?
"You're not masturbating now so I don't see why."
"Because you are a nosy git with no sense of common-"
The door opened and Sherlock stood there looking as if he had an important experiment to run.
John sighed. There was no use fighting. "What then?"
"We're going out. To a pub. I'm going to help you get a sexual partner."
"Sherlock! I don't – " He rubbed his eyes, feeling a little overwhelmed. He started again. "I don't need you to find me a girlfriend. I am quite happy with my life."
Sherlock looked at him sternly. "John. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Trust me, I've overcome a number of addictions. It's all a matter of retraining your brain."
John folded his arms in front of him. He was actually engaging in this bizarre conversation. Did this make him some sort of enabler? "So what, this is an intervention to get me laid?"
"You need normal, regular sex again with plenty of affection and kissing, and -" Sherlock waved his hand airily "-that sort of thing."
"Right. Well, actually Sherlock I'm going out tonight anyway. Having a drink with Greg and Mike. You're welcome to join us." He snagged his jacket from the chair.
"Oh. You didn't tell me." Sherlock looked a little hurt.
"I did actually, last week, when Greg texted me. Boys night out. You said you had better things to do."
"Exactly, making sure you get yourself a nice, sexually permissive woman to take you home tonight."
He was really serious. Of course he was. It was Sherlock. John sighed but couldn't help smiling to himself. "Fine, fine, who am I to turn down a socially awkward wing man."
"What's a wing man?"
"Never mind," said John as he walked out the bedroom door.
"Wait – you're not wearing that!"
"What's wrong with this?" John said indignantly.
"What's right with it?"
Sherlock marched into John's room, threw open the wardrobe and rummaged through his clothes. "No. None of these will do."
He looked John up and down. "Maybe one of mine…"
"Sherlock, I am not wearing one of your skin tight – no. Besides it would be really skin tight on me. I'm not changing." He gestured at his clothes. "These are fine."
Sherlock didn't look convinced and studied John dubiously. "Lose the jumper."
"No, I'll be cold."
"Do you want to be warm or having sex?"
"Fine, fine. Let's go then, but don't blame me if they aren't into cuddly."
Dull. What did all these people see in this past time? Sitting around a crowded, noisy, unpleasant smelling bar, nursing a weak tasting ale and attempting to hear what other people were saying? And the women? Well, Sherlock was despairing of finding someone both attractive enough to appeal to John, sober enough to give him a satisfactory time and promiscuous enough to be willing to go home with a perfect stranger, even if it was someone as harmless and pleasant looking as John.
John meanwhile was being no help whatsoever. He, Lestrade and Stamford were sitting there peering at the flat screen tv watching some sort of football match. They were all on their third beer. If John wasn't careful he'd be rendered unable to perform.
Sherlock noticed a new group of young women walk in. Obviously post-work drinks, office workers, probably an accounting firm, maybe something like paper distribution. He considered the five women. Alcoholic, no. Sexually prudish, no. Not John's type. Married and not interested in an extra-marital affair, not that John would. He studied the last one, blonde, not too tall, physical dimensions attractive to John, pretty but not too pretty, John would find her appealing but not intimidating, early-thirties, some reasonable job like a receptionist, no ring, looking around, scanning the room. Sherlock glanced at John and decided to make a move.
"Oh god," said John, suddenly realising that Sherlock had moved from where he'd been lounging against the wall behind him and was now infiltrating a group of girls who were obviously on a night out.
"What?" asked Greg and saw where John was looking. "What's he up to now?"
"He's trying to find me a girlfriend." Sherlock being concerned about his sex life was beyond worrying. John decided to treat it like eyeballs in the microwave and just ignore it and hope Sherlock would find something else to do shortly.
Lestrade looked at him in surprise. "What? I thought you two were…you know…an item?"
John had taken a sip of beer and nearly sprayed the lot across the table. He coughed. "No. No we're not." Why did Greg think that? Since when?
"But you left your girlfriend and moved back in with him when he came back from- you know." Oh, since then.
"Yes, yes I did," he said. And that was true but it wasn't like that. He'd just realised Mary wasn't right for him, that he'd only gone out with her because she was the polar opposite of Sherlock when he needed to try to move on. But then Sherlock came back and he hadn't needed to move on after all, once he'd forgiven the great idiot for faking his own death..
"But you're not-" Greg still looked surprised.
"Nope." Nope and nope. Firstly, John was still straight, even if no one else thought he was, and secondly, Sherlock had never displayed the slightest bit of interest in, well, anyone actually, aside from Irene Adler that one time, and that was even more reason not to think he'd want to jump John's bones. They were best friends and yeah when he thought Sherlock was dead, there were things he'd wished he'd told him, but now they didn't seem appropriate, but one day he might mention it, if he was drunk enough. All the same. Nope.
John frowned at Greg. "You know I'm not gay."
"No, no, course not. Me either."
John looked at Greg curiously. "Never said you were."
"Hm, what was that Mike?" said Lestrade turning towards Mike Stamford.
Mike tore his gaze away from the telly. "What? Nothing."
"Oh, thought you said something."
John looked back at where Sherlock was chatting to one of the girls. She was pretty, he'd give Sherlock that. But what really had his attention was Sherlock. Sherlock did not look like Sherlock. Sherlock looked like an amiable guy, maybe someone who worked in the City, out with some friends, chatting up a pretty girl. He was leaning back slightly, smiling and laughing at what the girl was saying. Every now and then he'd glance over at John and nod in his direction, as if talking about him. John frowned when he caught Sherlock's eye but instead of stopping, Sherlock shot him a firm look and then returned to talking to the girl. After another minute or so he looked over at John and waved him over. John shook his head and Sherlock said something to the girl who laughed and slapped him playfully on the arm. Sherlock grinned at her, rolled his eyes and then bounded over to where John was sitting. "Come on! She thinks you're sweet! Sweet!"
"Sherlock! What are you doing? What did you tell her?"
"The truth. You're a doctor, broke up with your girlfriend recently, bit hesitant about meeting someone new, I'm trying to get you back in the saddle so to speak. Now, come on, Becky's waiting."
"Becky?" John grinned. "She is pretty."
"You like her?" Sherlock's face lit up. "I knew you would. She's your type."
"I don't have a type."
"Of course you do, and she is it."
Greg was looking at John expectantly. He grinned at Sherlock. "Hey Sherlock, you reckon you could set me up with someone?" he asked with a wink.
Sherlock ignored him. "John?"
"Yeah, ok, but don't blame me if this goes badly."
"With an attitude like that, no wonder you have trouble getting women on your own," said Sherlock, swirling away and returning to the table of women, suddenly Not Sherlock again.
John picked up his glass and followed. John gave Becky an embarrassed smile when he reached her table. "Hi, I'm John," he said.
"Hi, Becky," Becky said with a friendly smile.
"Can I buy you a drink?" he asked.
"Sure, scotch and dry."
"I'll get it," said Not Sherlock with a friendly smile. "You stay here and talk to Becky."
John widened his eyes at Sherlock who gave him a glare and disappeared towards the bar.
"So, Sherlock has been telling me loads about you."
"All bad, I hope," said John with a smile.
"Hardly. So you're really a war hero? And a doctor?"
"Oh he didn't…"
"'Fraid so. Now you'll have to live up to your amazing reputation."
"Hah. And he's told me nothing about you so at least we'll have something interesting to talk about."
Becky giggled. With something speculative in her gaze she looked over to where Sherlock was standing at the bar. "So your friend is hot. What's the go? Girlfriend? Single?"
John looked from her then back to Sherlock. Ah right. Of course. For a moment John considered leaving Sherlock to deal with the ramifications of flirting shamelessly with a nice girl but decided the prat would probably just say something rude and walk off and it wasn't Becky's fault. "Gay," said John instead.
"Oh." Becky's face dropped, then she brightened. "All the good ones are right?"
Sherlock returned to the girl's table to find John gone and Becky giving him a disappointed look as he handed her the drink. Honestly! He left John alone for five seconds with that girl and he managed to mess it up.
"John?" he asked when he got to where John was now chatting with Lestrade and Stamford.
"Sherlock, you dick, she fancied you!"
"Me? No, she said you were sweet."
"Sweet, yes, well you are hot, so whose pants do you think she wanted to get into."
"You've got an in there mate," said Lestrade. "Should go back."
Sherlock frowned at him. "Why would I want to have sex with her?"
"No reason, no reason at all," said John.
Lestrade laughed. "Bloody typical, of course it's Sherlock who pulls a bird, he doesn't even want one."
Sherlock flopped down on a chair. "I don't understand. Why would she want to have sex with me?"
"Oh, I don't know, you're tall, good looking and are wearing that bloody tight shirt. No idea why."
Sherlock studied John. John thought he was good looking. Well. That was…nice. Yes. Still, his friend seemed downcast and his sexual frustration had not been resolved.
"Forget this place. Tomorrow we're going shopping and buying you something presentable to wear, and then tomorrow night we're going somewhere decent. A club."
"Clubbing?" said Stamford. "Haven't been clubbing in years."
"Me neither," Lestrade. He smirked. "Mind if I join you?"
"Yes," said Sherlock at the same time as John, said, "No, that would be great!"
Sherlock glared at them both. "Fine. Just don't cramp John's style."
Lestrade gave him an amused look, which Sherlock found a little irritating.