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Sherlock Fanfic: For Want of a Tea (JWP 2015 #1) - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: For Want of a Tea (JWP 2015 #1)
Title: For Want of a Tea
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, silliness, tea, google-based research.
Warnings: none
Word Count: 875
Disclaimer: Not my world.
Notes: Written for watsons_woes July Writing Prompt #1: Tempting Fate Title bastardized from the 14th century proverb: For want of a nail.

Summary: An urgent matter for Sherlock becomes a pain in the neck for John.

For Want of a Tea

"Milk?" John could feel his pulse start throbbing behind his eyes.

"Yes, milk. Get me some."

Breathe. Calm. John smiled and nodded at the patient waiting in his examination room, the patient the nurse had called him away from to answer an 'urgent call', the patient who was now staring down the hall at him in morbid fascination like she'd unexpectedly found herself in a medical drama rather than a walk-in medical centre.

"I am at work, Sherlock! You needing milk is not an urgent case of anything."

Sherlock sighed. "It has become urgent enough that I called you. You were ignoring my texts."

"I'm at work. My mobile is off when I'm at work."

"That's ridiculous. How can I text you when your mobile is off?"

"That," John said tightly, "is the point."

"I need milk, John. Mrs Hudson's away. No tea without milk. My mental acuity is not at its peak without tea."

"So just think at the speed of the common man for an afternoon. It won't kill you."

An affronted huff carried over the line. "If a kidnapping case walked through the front door right now I'd be impaired, John. I'd be on par with Anderson. Someone might die. So therefore my need for milk is an urgent life-or-death matter, unlike the woman you were called away from with plantar fasciitis."

John glanced back at the woman waiting in the examination room to see her still staring, but rubbing at her heel.

"How did you-" He stopped himself and closed his eyes. Breathe. "Never mind. Sherlock. I will not leave my paying job at the surgery to go out and bring you milk. I will pick up milk on my way home, and no sooner. If you need milk any faster than that you can go out and bloody well get it yourself."

"Fine." Sherlock sniffed. "I'll do that."

"Really?" John blinked in surprise. "Good. Yes. I'll, ah. I'll see you after work then."

Sherlock hummed noncommittally and disconnected the call.

John stared at the phone for a long moment before hanging up and turning back to his abandoned patient, who seemed disappointed that the 'urgent call' hadn't resulted in more excitement.

Good. Right. About time Sherlock did the shop for a change. Anyway, what's the worst that could happen?

Two hours and twelve patients later it sank in.

Oh god. What have I done?


A headache had settled in behind John's eyes as he followed Lestrade down the familiar path to the holding cells.

"We picked him up at the Tesco Metro on Melcombe, just down from your flat. Well, him and his sparring partner."

"Oh god." They stopped in front of the cell full of brooding detective.

"Outdid himself this time," Lestrade said with a smirk. "Public nuisance, making an affray, aggravated assault-"

"Aggravated assault?!" John squawked. Horrified visions of Sherlock taking John's handgun to the shop flashed in John's head.

"The co-combatant says that Sherlock brandished-"

"Gestured with," Sherlock said pointedly from where he lay on the spartan bench inside the cell.

"-brandished four pints of semi-skimmed at him, and also claims he has a violent allergy to dairy."

Sherlock made a rude noise. "It won't stand. The man threw an aubergine at me first."

John pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. "Sherlock-"

"On a case were you?" Lestrade said, rocking onto his heels with barely suppressed amusement. "Wasn't one of my cases, Some sort of infidelity business? Didn't think you went in for those."

"I don't." Sherlock's disdain was palpable. "The man was obviously having an affair. The way he fondled the gourds was indicative of-"

John held up a hand. "So, to cut past the 'deductive brilliance', you deduced that a man in the store was cheating on his spouse, said so to his face, and his response was to sensibly attack you with an aubergine?"

"That's about the shape of it, yeah." Lestrade grinned, opening the cell door.

"It was hardly a sensible attack, John." Sherlock stood up. "If it had been sensible he would have used a melon. Much larger, more radius of effect if it missed and burst on the floor."

John's headache would not be going away soon.

"Like Sherlock says, the other fellow did attack first according to the CCTV and Sherlock never actually touched him, so the charges will likely be cleared down to an ASBO by the time you get to the end of the hall." Lestrade smirked. "Which will mysteriously somehow disappear before the court date. As usual."

Sherlock muttered aggrievedly about his brother as he left the cell. John muttered aggrievedly about Sherlock and ASBOs and followed.


Processing Sherlock out of the cells took a little longer than average due to the excessive number of aubergine-related comments the custody sergeant felt compelled to make, but it was done quickly enough to avoid Sherlock saying anything that might return him to the cells. They walked out into the cool evening air which did little to cool John's aggravation.

Trying to decide whether to laugh or start shouting, John remained ruminantly silent as Sherlock summoned a cab and they got in.

"John?" Sherlock said as John shut the cab door.

"What?" John snapped.

"We'll need to stop on the way home to get milk."

As the cab pulled out into traffic, John forced himself to take a deep breath and release it slowly, wishing for an aubergine.

- - -
(that's it)
My Watson's Woes July Writing Prompts index

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16 comments or Leave a comment
pompey01 From: pompey01 Date: July 3rd, 2015 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)
"Aubergine" is itself not a particularly funny word, but given the context, I'm going to smile every time I hear it now.

(No no, John, you don't want an aubergine! You want a melon! Much larger, more radius of effect; weren't you paying attention? ;) )
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 3rd, 2015 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
John figures that he's got better aim than the guy in the store, and that in the close quarters of the cab an aubergine is better suited for use as a bludgeon. ;-)

Edited at 2015-07-03 10:03 am (UTC)
avidreadergirl From: avidreadergirl Date: July 3rd, 2015 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stupid question but when you say "aubergine" you are also talking about the vegetable known as an eggplant, right?
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 3rd, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, an eggplant in the UK is an aubergine.
avidreadergirl From: avidreadergirl Date: July 3rd, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh and loved the story, no matter what kind of foodstuff it is! :)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 3rd, 2015 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
rojo3131 From: rojo3131 Date: July 4th, 2015 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh this was brilliant!! John is such a saint!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 4th, 2015 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's got to be to live with Sherlock
capt_facepalm From: capt_facepalm Date: July 4th, 2015 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, such snark. I love it!
"So just think at the speed of the common man for an afternoon. It won't kill you."
HAHAHA! (It might)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 4th, 2015 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
To be fair, it might also kill a few people around Sherlock too.
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: July 4th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 4th, 2015 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
halfshellvenus From: halfshellvenus Date: July 7th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'd be impaired, John. I'd be on par with Anderson.
God, the horror. And such a perfect detail.

Attack by aubergine... so unexpected for anyone but Sherlock, but so richly deserved. At any given moment. :)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 9th, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sherlock deserves to be pelted with vegetables now and then I think.
methylviolet10b From: methylviolet10b Date: July 18th, 2015 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, poor John. And troublemaking, silly Sherlock. Well done!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 20th, 2015 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
16 comments or Leave a comment