Title: Hair trigger
Author: fanficwriter101
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Fandoms: Sherlock
Disclaimer: The characters from the show aren't mine, they belong to others. No copyright infringement intended. Any characters you don't recognize are mine. Feedback would be nice, positive feedback would be nicer. Enjoy!
Category: Sherlock (BBC 2010/12 version) bromance-ish PWP ficlet
Rating: PG to be safe
Characters: Sherlock and John
Series: No
Spoilers: Brief reference to THoB but anything from Seasons One and Two (including the unaired pilot) might get a mention.
Summary: Sherlock doesn't come with an obvious 'off' switch but one night, John knows if he doesn't find it, it won't be new batteries Sherlock will need. Of course, once you know how to turn it off, you can do it anytime.
Archive: Just tell me where it's going
Additional 'stuff': I'm one of those who has wondered what it would be like to see John do as I describe in this fic. This might make more sense if you've read my 'Pillow Talk' fics first, but it's not crucial.


Now that Sherlock and he had been featured in the newspapers on more than one occasion, John found that work poured in.

Between the cases that attracted television and newspaper interest, smaller cases, no less important to the people involved, filled their days and, much to John's relief, paid their bills.

The downside was that John knew Sherlock was sleeping, eating and relaxing less and less as the days lengthened into weeks and Sherlock multi-tasked on several cases each day.

Finally, when John knew Sherlock hadn't slept for a second night  - the quiet but still audible violin playing woke him every time he turned over in bed, and he had come close to complaining about the third evening meal he had cooked which Sherlock had moved the food around the plate with his fork but not actually eaten, he knew he had to do something.

As always, when broaching a difficult subject, John chose his moment carefully. 

Sherlock was laying on the couch, his head resting on John's lap, channel-hopping, pausing occasionally for a few seconds only to decide the programme wasn't of interest after all and moving on.

"Sherlock...um...I think you...we...need a holiday."

 Sherlock huffed, clearly unhappy with John's suggestion. "We went to Dartmoor."

"That was months ago. And for a case. I mean a proper holiday."

Sherlock sighed and squirmed unhappily.

Undaunted, John ploughed on. "You're not eating, you're not sleeping and...well, I'm worried about you."

Sherlock demonstrated his flexibility in the now-familiar arching of his back, looking upside-down at John. "We're far too busy to..."

John sighed. "Then tell me Sherlock...how do I get you to...switch off?"

Sherlock frowned and sighed deeply. "I don't know. I just...can't John."

John knew he was treading on dodgy ground but decided to risk it. "Look, when you were little, and you couldn't sleep...it was stormy or there was something else keeping you awake, how did you Mum get you to sleep?" He watched Sherlock carefully, feeling the tension in the shoulders against his thighs and the change in his flatmate's breathing pattern. He decided to change the subject. A bit. "Because, short of sex or drugs, I'll find, do, buy or hire whatever you need to get to sleep tonight."

Sherlock seemed to relax a little now the subject was no longer family-related and he was still and silent for a short time. Finally, leaving John feeling like he had been holding his breath during what seemed like an hour-long silence, Sherlock said hesitantly: "Give me your hand."

John lifted his left hand and tried not to panic at the million things that could possibly happen in the next minutes. With his free hand, he pressed the volume down button on the TV remote, leaving the dialogue of the legal drama barely disturbing the silence in the flat.

Sherlock took it and spread John's fingers, pushing them through his dark curls. "I remember this...but if you don't want to..."

In response, John placed his free hand on Sherlock's chest, feeling the slow rise and fall, a contrast to the previous few minutes. The hand tangled in Sherlock's hair slid deeper, fingertips feeling Sherlock's warm soft scalp. As he looked down, Sherlock's eyes closed and Sherlock let out a deep sigh. John smiled with relief and moved his hand slowly through Sherlock's hair, not wanting to tug or scratch.

 "Okay Sherlock?"

Sherlock smiled, wriggling slightly on John's lap. "It's like having the radio on all the time. It's never silent in my head. I'm always...busy."

"Give me your hand." John said quietly.

Sherlock lifted his right hand and John lifted his and took hold of Sherlock's hand, placing the palm on Sherlock's chest, flattening Sherlock's fingers on his all too prominent ribs. "Feel your heartbeat?"

Sherlock nodded.

"Don't count, don't try and detect any heart defects, just feel it."

Sherlock smiled at John's reading of his immediate thoughts.

John moved his hand slowly and carefully  through Sherlock's glossy mane. "Two more minutes Sherlock."

Sherlock frowned.  Although he hadn't been expecting John to enjoy himself, he had hoped it might last a little longer. Disappointed, he said quietly. "I understand."

"No Sherlock, I mean, two minutes before you go to bed. Otherwise you'll fall asleep here and I'll have to sit here until you wake up. It's late and I'm tired."

Sherlock hoped his frustration didn't show.  "Oh...all right. Two minutes."

John had a sudden thought. "No counting to a hundred and twenty in your head. I'll tell you when it's time to get up."

For the second time that evening, Sherlock was impressed with John's mind-reading ability.

Two minutes later - John had guessed how long it had been and as Sherlock hadn't moved he assumed he was roughly right - John lifted his hand from Sherlock's temple and leaned back. "Bedtime Sherlock. Come on. Up."

Reluctantly but yawning, Sherlock lifted himself up from the sofa and headed into his room. "Goodnight John."

"Sleep well Sherlock." John got up and headed upstairs.

Later that night...

Sherlock lay in bed and stared at the ceiling. He turned onto his side, pulled the bedclothes up, closed his eyes and, when he didn't fall immediately asleep, contemplated getting up but he knew John took a while to fall asleep and he didn't want to disturb him. He recalled the relaxing sensation of John's fingers on his scalp and smiled at the memory. He closed his eyes and tried to replace the memory with the half dozen cases which would otherwise keep him awake until morning.


A few days later...

Once again, when John went downstairs to get a glass of water just after midnight - he had been writing his blog and the air around the laptop had been dry - he saw the light from Sherlock's laptop coming from under his bedroom door.

Hesitating for a second or two he lifted his hand and knocked gently. It was *just* possible Sherlock had fallen asleep.

"Come in John."

John walked into the room and crossed to the bed where Sherlock lay on his back, laptop open beside him on the bed.

"Can't sleep?"

Sherlock shook his head. Quietly he shared: "When I was in the mire and you saw a dog, I saw Moriarty."

John nodded - he considered himself somewhat of an expert in bad dreams - and sat on the edge of Sherlock's bed, taking a small piece of folded paper from the pocket of his jeans. "Close your eyes."

Anticipating what was coming, Sherlock obeyed without question.

"What element has the atomic number 67?"

Sherlock smiled a little. John could still surprise him after all. "Holmium."

John smiled too. Sherlock wasn't having to think, just remember. He hoped it would be more soporific for Sherlock than just laying in his bed staring at the ceiling.

"What's between Phosphorus and Antimony?"

Sherlock yawned. "Arsenic...interesting thing about arsenic..."

John didn't let Sherlock continue and interrupted quickly. ""Atomic number 99?"

Sherlock wriggled a little and turned on his side. "Einsteinium."

"Only element to have the same letter three times as it's symbol?"

Sherlock sighed softly. "Ummm...Unununium."

John got up carefully. "Sleep well Sherlock."

Sherlock mumbled softly: "'ni' Jnnn."

Smiling, John left Sherlock's room, leaving the door ajar so as not to disturb Sherlock with the sound of the door closing.

The following morning...

John woke slowly, yawning and stretching. For a few minutes he lay on his hand, hands behind his head, listening to find out what Sherlock was doing. When he heard nothing, he fought panic and forced himself to get up, pull on his dressing gown and head downstairs slowly and calmly.

There was no sign Sherlock was awake and had gone out. John frowned and did something he hardly ever did. He walked over to Sherlock's room and listened for a minute. He was startled by Sherlock's soft voice: "Come in John."

John walked in and stood beside Sherlock's bed. "Morning Sherlock. Nice sleep?"

Sherlock nodded happily. "Yes. Thank you."

John smiled, unable to hide his relief. "Just used your head."

Because he was Sherlock and needed to have the last word Sherlock corrected: "Twice."