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Title: The Care and Feeding of Your Consulting Detective
Word Count: 1,559
Genre: Sherlock/John friendship (gen)
Warnings: none

An epilogue to Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Sherlock

John felt it as soon as they walked into CID: a change in the air. A frisson in the room. People would catch their eye, and then suddenly become fascinated by something at the bottom of their tea mugs. The closer they got to Lestrade’s office, the more people John caught snickering behind their hands, and by the time they reached it there was outright giggling.

“Ah. Sherlock. Doctor Watson. Glad you could join us.” The smile was fighting tooth and nail to escape Lestrade’s mouth.

“What’s this about, Lestrade?” Sherlock was in his usual mood.

Lestrade leaned back against his desk. “Well, there’s a little matter my team and I have been hoping you could clear up for us.” John noticed several officers, Anderson and Donovan among them, gathering round to watch the proceedings. Sherlock undoubtedly noticed them too, but gave no indication that their presence registered with him at all.

“Well.” Lestrade pressed his lips, folding his hands behind him and rocking back on his heels. “It all boils down to one simple question, really.”

Sherlock raised his eyebrows. “...Yes?”

“Brahms or Mozart?”

For once, Sherlock Holmes actually looked confused. “Pardon?”

“Brahms or Mozart? Which do you prefer when Doctor Watson here sings you a lullabye?”

Stifled giggles broke through the tight lips trying to contain them. It made the entire CID sound like a herd of elderly farting elephants.

Sherlock sighed. “Lestrade, believe it or not, I have actually got clients other than the police. And contrary to my outwardly jolly and cajoling appearance, I do not appreciate people wasting my time.”

Lestrade pursed his lips. “Aw, don’t get frustrated. We all know how bad that is for you.”

“Maybe he’s wearing synthetics,” Anderson cut in. “Don’t want another tantrum now, do we?”

Their jibes struck John as very familiar. Too familiar. He glanced at Sherlock and read the same suspicion in his flatmate’s face. John looked around the office…and spotted something on the wall that nearly made his heart stop.

It was a computer printout: taken, it appeared, from his very own personal blog. No...that was impossible; he’d never even posted that entry…

The Care and Feeding of Your Consulting Detective

1. Never let him get bored.
2. He likes to be held but not cuddled. Likes being tickled and having his back rubbed.
3. Oral fixations are normal at his age. If he wants to suck on something, let him. (Just don't put gin on it.)
4. He doesn't trust food. Eat some yourself first if you want him to take a bite. Spoon-feed him if you have to.
5. Natural fabrics only. Sinthetics will provoke a tantrum.
6. Try not to let him get frustrated. He's a super genius and a child all rolled up into one. His mind is light years ahead of his body, and the differentiale must be torture.
7. Be patient.
8. Make sure he gets his rest. If necessary, use extreme prejudice: sing him a lullabye and rock him to sleep.

John squeezed his eyes shut. This was not happening. He’d written the entry a few days ago, during their little adventure with Molly’s magic youth serum. Sherlock had been trapped in the body of a two-year-old toddler at the time, but Lestrade’s gang had no way of knowing that. They’d read the entry as though he and Sherlock were gay lovers instead.

The whole department had read it. The entire. Squad.

“Where the hell did you get this?” John turned on Lestrade, finding anger much more palatable than his rising humiliation.

“From your blog,” Lestrade shrugged lightly. “Your  journal. Why’d you post it if you didn’t want everyone to read it?”

“I never posted that; I deleted - “ John bit his lip, realising his fatal error a millisecond too late.

“So you did write it, then?” Lestrade grinned.

“Yes!” Donovan pumped the air. “Ten quid, Dimmock!” She held out her hand for the money. “He thought it was a hacker. To tell the truth, Freak, I’m actually happy for you…Doctor Watson here’s too good for you.”

Sherlock. Oh God. John did not want to see Sherlock’s face. Captain John Watson had faced mortar shells, tracer fire, and IED’s…and right now, he would rather face all of them at once if it meant not looking Sherlock in the eye.

He turned towards his flatmate.

Sherlock looked…surprisingly not annoyed. Which was odd. As much as he usually complained about John’s blog…then it hit him. If Sherlock wasn’t angry, then he must be hiding something.

John leaned forwards, trying for at least a modicum of privacy. “I never posted that,” he said quietly. When Sherlock did not reply, he prompted,  “you hacked my blog again, didn’t you? When you retrieved the data, it came up in the same web format as my blog. Right? The ‘post’ and ‘delete’ buttons are right next to each other. You hit the wrong one.”

Sherlock studied the wall and scratched his ear, avoiding John’s gaze. “...Ah.Yes. Well.”

John gaped. “That’s it?” His voice rose to a vicious stage whisper. “Your stupid hacking mistake triggers the most humiliating moment of my life, and all you can say is, ‘yes, well’??”

“Oh come on, now, Doctor Watson,” Lestrade soothed. “Be patient with him! Take your own advice.”

“Maybe he’s hungry. Shall I get you a spoon?” Dimmock offered.

“Oral fixations are normal at his age,” Donovan agreed, then directed a very pointed look at John’s crotch. “Or maybe you’d like to let him suck on something else instead?”

“Just don’t put gin on it,” Anderson added, and the entire squad roared with laughter. John rubbed his eyes and tried very hard to disappear into a crack in the floor.

For his part, Sherlock let the team’s merriment wash over him like rainwater. Then he took a deep breath and said, “Well, you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Anderson?” The laughter suddenly quieted. “Though I’ve always heard ecstasy is the drug of choice for coating adult fetish dummies, not gin. Tell me, how is that extra large rubber nipple holding up? Not too well, judging by the wear marks and residual latex powder on your lips.”

The silence in the room was now palpable. Sally and Anderson looked as surprised as John felt.

“Still stocked up on adult nappies, then?” Sherlock continued, mercilessly. “Bet you tell them it’s for an elderly relative at the chemist’s…Boots, if the receipt in your left pocket is anything to go by. Really though, Anderson, paraphilic infantilism is a perfectly normal sexual deviation; you’ve got nothing at all to be ashamed of. Furries, on the other hand…” He shot an accusing look at Lestrade.

“Oi!” The DI’s mouth dropped open. “Now hang on just a minute…!”

“Synthetic fibres on the back of your neck at the hairline; just where the costume pieces join up.”

Lestrade pawed at his neck. “That’s from my kid’s teddy bear!” He protested…then fell silent, realising too late that such a statement sounded even more damning under the circumstances, not less.

The whole of the CID were now looking at each other, with expressions of either shocked discovery or helpless denial. A satisfied smirk twitched the corner of Sherlock’s mouth.

“If that’s all then, Inspector Lestrade, I think I’ll be going now. Come along, John.”

They were halfway to the door when Sherlock turned back. “Oh, and Sally, be sure not to forget the talcum powder. Wet nappies can be so harsh on tender little bottoms, and judging from Anderson’s gait, he’s got quite the rash coming on.” He made a little moue of sympathy at Anderson - who was nearly scarlet with rage - then tipped everyone a cheery wink and strode merrily out the door.

“That was…how did…” John sputtered, running to catch him up in the car park. “That was amazing! I thought we’d never live that down in a million…how the hell did you know Sally and Anderson were Aby fetishists? And Lestrade…”

“They’re not.” Sherlock never broke his stride. “I fudged the deductions. Anderson’s Boots receipt was for a cold sore salve, thus his reddened lips. It’d be abnormal for a forensics pathologist not to have latex powder residue on him somewhere. And the gait, well...men of his advanced age sometimes take a day or two to get their sea legs back after a night of hard shagging. And you hardly ever see Lestrade without some trace of his childrens’ playthings on his work suit; it’s most unprofessional.”

“So they’re not…”

“No. But everyone thinks they are now, and that’s all that counts.”

Sherlock smiled. John felt a slow grin of admiration spread across his face.

“You know, I’m glad you use your powers for good. You’d make a bloody terrifying supervillain.” John was silent for a moment. Then… “Sherlock?”


“Which was it?”


“Which was it...Brahms or Mozart for your lullabye?”

He jumped out of the way, narrowly avoiding the wadded-up sandwich wrapper hurled at him from Sherlock’s pocket. John chuckled and followed his brilliant, amazing, diabolically clever - and apparently impossible-to-humiliate - flatmate back to their rooms at Baker Street.

As they walked, he mentally added one last item to the Care and Feeding List:

9. Never to try embarrass a man who has no shame.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh, joy! Thank you for taking the time to point this out for me, because you've made my night. It's perfect!
Apr. 26th, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
Hacking for teh lulz!
May. 5th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
hilarious and completely awesome. well done!
Aug. 7th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
How did I miss this? Lovely epilogue to a lovely story!
Oct. 3rd, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
This whole series is unbelivably cute and the epilogue is just adorable! Thanks for sharing!
Jul. 9th, 2013 02:08 pm (UTC)
That was hilarious!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )