qthebadwolf: (hurt/comfort ftw!)
[personal profile] qthebadwolf
fandom: Sherlock
word count: 10,148
pairing: gen/friendship
warnings: domestic abuse, suicide attempt
summary: Sherlock meets A Christmas Carol meets It's A Wonderful Life.


He learned the basic details later: a minor gas leak at the flat (promptly reported and repaired) and the effects of four nicotine patches on a very empty stomach were all it had taken to lay low the mighty Sherlock Holmes.

It was outrageous.

"Well, maybe you'll listen to your own body now if you won't listen to me," John said lightly. "I keep telling you you need to be more careful."

"If I changed my habits you'd have to stop lecturing me." Sherlock leaned back in his armchair. "Far be it from me to deprive a man of his greatest pleasure in life."

"And if your greatest pleasure in life is being an awkward git, then you must be ecstatic. Mrs. Hudson was nearly frantic. Thank god you made such a thump falling off the sofa; otherwise she might never have found you in time."

"How's she enjoying her Christmas gift?"

"I don't know, I haven't asked her. Really, though, Sherlock, karate lessons? Don't know what on earth possessed you." John got up to warm his backside by the fire. "Mind you, she did seem a bit more chirpy than usual getting back from her first one. Maybe she met some tight older bloke there. What's this?" He picked up a new arrival amongst the Christmas cards on the mantle: it was tiny, and impersonal, and signed neatly "Mycroft".

"Thank you note,"  Sherlock said lazily. "For the diet shakes."

John blinked. "You sent Mycroft diet shakes for Christmas?"

"Well. It’s the first time since Mummy died I've sent him anything at all. I suppose his pomposity wouldn't let him fail to mark the occasion with anything less than the proper protocol. No matter how provoking the gift." The side of Sherlock's mouth twitched.

John rubbed his backside to spread the warmth. "Well, that is a point...you never give Christmas gifts. What happened; you have a near-death experience in hospital or something?"

"Something like that," Sherlock drawled. His eyes drifted to a large parcel under the brightly festive Christmas tree that John had insisted they couldn't do without. "Open yours."

"Not yet. We're waiting for Mrs Hudson."

Sherlock favoured him with the subtly hurt look that he knew John could not bear.

"Oh, all right! Fine. God you're such a child." He wrestled with the paper - the parcel was almost as big as he was - and revealed a brand new winter parka: the best one Sherlock could find; rated for near-Arctic conditions with two separate interior layers for added warmth. "Um...cheers," John seemed perplexed. "Nothing wrong with my old coat, but yeah...thanks, mate."

"Put it on."

Still not quite seeing the point, John stood up and shouldered on the great hairy beast. It all but swallowed him up. "It's, um...a bit big."

"Nonsense." Sherlock got up and adjusted the sleeves. "You should always buy coats one size up. The extra space gives more room for air pockets to trap and conserve body heat..."

"Says the man with the skin-tight Belstaff," John retorted. His voice was rather muffled by the parka hood. "Anyway, that's alright, we'll just take it back and swap it for one a size down..." The hurt look returned. "Sherlock, I look like a five-year-old in this thing!" The hurt looked dialled up to a four. "Oh for god's sake...fine. Fine. Thank you, Sherlock Holmes; for getting me this very warm and completely ridiculous coat." And he moved back towards his own chair, looking rather like the abominable snow-John. Or a sumo wrestler.

The front bell went.

"Takeaway's here." John slipped out of the nearly-sentient parka and went down to pay the driver.

Later, after dinner, they sat amiably by the fire, enjoying a glass of the wine Lestrade had sent.

"What'd you get Greg?" John asked.

"Fruitcake," Sherlock smirked. "Enough for the whole station. They'll still be eating it in March."

John giggled. "Well, this is a first: the year Sherlock Holmes discovered Christmas. You should have near-death experiences more often." John stopped short. "That was sarcasm, by the way. You ever even think about dying again and I'll kill you myself."

"Duly noted."

John looked at him for rather longer than usual. Then he picked up his glass. "Happy Christmas."

Sherlock counter-gestured with his own glass. He was doing an admirable job, he thought, of maintaining his usual air of bored distaste. In actual fact he couldn't remember ever being this content when he wasn't on a case. John was alive; Mrs Hudson ruled over 221B; and best of all, the flat's telly lay silenced on its table...no more soppy holiday films to invade his subconscious. The dream and all its morbid fancies of Capra and Dickens was banished forever from his mind.

John clinked Sherlock's glass with his own. "And as Tiny Tim would say, God bless us, every - "

"John. Don't be maudlin."

"Right. Okay then." John smiled. "Merry Christmas, Sherlock."

"Merry Christmas, John."

THE END
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