Title: Home from Holmes
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: BBC Sherlock 2010 angsty hurt/comfort AU fic
Rating: PG/R overall just for painful things that will crop up
Characters: Sherlock, John, and later Lestrade, Mycroft and a whole cast of OFC's/OMC's
Series: No
Spoilers: None specific but anything might crop up
Summary: Walking home one evening, Sherlock almost tripped over the figure curled in the shop doorway. Most people would have apologized and walked on. Sherlock Holmes isn't most people.
Archive: Just tell me where it's going
Additional 'stuff': Not my usual 'happy ending' fic - or is it? It was intended to be a longer work, but I just don't know how it's supposed to continue so I stopped.


Sherlock was really really tired. Lestrade had insisted on hearing every tiny little detail of how he'd solved the case they'd been working on for the last three days. Normally, Sherlock would have enjoyed expounding his theories and thought processes. However, he hadn't really slept, eaten or relaxed in all that time and he was, even though he wouldn't admit it to anyone, exhausted.

So he reasoned, it was forgivable that, walking back to the flat, he almost fell flat on his face when his toe caught the leg of a homeless man sleeping in the doorway of the newsagent he bought his daily paper from.

Fortunately, the man didn't stir. Probably drunk or high Sherlock guessed. Neither bothered him too much. There were too many homeless people in the city for him to concern himself with just one. Homelessness, like so many other problems in the capital, wasn't something he could solve so he ignored it.

Something about the slight, curled figure made him look back as he walked on and he saw the man wake, uncurl, sit up a little then settle back down onto the cardboard and   threadbare blanket which comprised his home. Or bed. Or both Sherlock decided, annoyed at how much thought he was giving the description.

Huffing, he paused, turned on his heel and walked back, standing over the still form. "I apologize if I woke you."

Tired eyes blinked sleepily, opening and focusing on the man standing over him. "S'okay."

"No, really, I wasn't looking where I was going."

With a slight edge, the muttered response came: "Forget it. I'm fine."

For some reason, the ungrateful tone irked Sherlock. "Might want to tuck your feet in a bit more. Don't want someone falling over you."
There was, this time, no response from the huddled figure, hidden in the doorway's shadows and this irritated Sherlock further. "Look, I apologized. I offered you a solution to avoid a repetition and..."

"Piss off." There was no mistaking the tone this time.

Sherlock very nearly did just that. Very nearly. Instead, he crouched down and pulled out his wallet. "Here."

The hand that emerged from under the threadbare blanket shook a little. "Thanks....hey...no...is this a joke?"

Sherlock frowned, eyes searching the pale face topped with unkempt grey/blond hair. "Do you usually find it amusing when people offer you money."

"Fifty pounds...you're just giving me...fifty pounds."

Sherlock nodded. "It's not much but.."

The man huddled under the blanket laughed, shaking it loose. His hand grabbed at it before it hit the wet ground, still damp from earlier rain. "It's more money than I've seen in a year."

Sherlock frowned. "You've been...like this...for a year?"

A brief silent nod confirmed the answer to Sherlock's question.

"Hungry?" Sherlock asked.

A tired laugh, then: "Always. You?"

In a rare moment of self-analysis, Sherlock admitted: "Very rarely." He reached down. "Sherlock Holmes."

Taking the proffered hand, John got to his feet.

Sherlock seemed not to notice John hadn't offered his name. "Dinner then, yes?"

Staring at the red fifty pound note in his hand, John smiled. "Dinner's on me."

Sherlock strode across the road, heavy wool coat billowing behind him, leaving John to follow in his wake.


Sherlock appeared oblivious to the slightly disheveled state of his companion as he strolled into Angelo's restaurant. "Evening Billy...thank you."

He sat at the table the waiter indicated and handed over the menu.

"The chicken is always good."

"I thought you said you never ate."

"I said I was rarely hungry. Different altogether."

"So you eat but you don't enjoy it. That's a pity."

"Is it?"

Thankfully, the waiter returned just then and took their order.

Angelo breezed in, saw Sherlock and made a beeline for his long-time friend. "Sherlock! How long has it been?"

John noticed Sherlock tolerated, rather than enjoyed, being singled out in the crowded restaurant, enduring the crushing hug and effusive praise with carefully-concealed unease.

"And who's this?" Angelo's attention focused on the other side of the table.

"Um...this is a friend of mine...um.." Sherlock finally realized at that moment he had no idea of his companion's name.

"John Watson." John extended his right hand, shaking the restaurant owner's firmly.

Angelo decided to ignore the fact that Sherlock's companion looked like he'd spent a week living rough.  "Anything you want...anything off the menu...no charge."

Sherlock smiled tightly. Apparently, John surmised, it wasn't the first offer of free food Sherlock had ever had from the pony-tailed restaurateur.



John sat back, his belly swollen with more food than he'd eaten all week. And this food hadn't been swiped from leftovers on empty outdoor café tables or begged from the various small shops around John's preferred night-time spot.

Sherlock had eaten a small amount of toast and pate Angelo had forced on him, claiming it was a 'new recipe' he wanted Sherlock's opinion on, but nothing else, apparently content to watch John eat and drink.

John knew better than to drink anything other than water. Being drunk or hung over wasn't the best way to keep safe when you lived as he did. Evidently, Sherlock didn't drink either, keeping to the remainder of the bottle of water John didn't manage.

"Thank you."

Sherlock smiled, trying and failing to hide a yawn. "Shall we go?"

John frowned, not moving. "Shall we go...where?"

"Home...my flat's just round the corner. My landlady Mrs Hudson will interrogate you but..."

"No thanks." John said firmly, standing, folding his napkin onto the empty plate in front of him.

Sherlock frowned in genuine confusion. "I don't...understand."

"Look, this was nice, you didn't have to and you did, but I'm straight and I'm not going to sleep with you."

Sherlock stared at his new acquaintance as if he had grown another head. "Is that why you think I bought you here?"

John laughed, still not buying Sherlock's 'innocent confusion' act. "Why else?"

"For dinner." Sherlock said simply.

John sighed, not moving but not sitting either. "I apologize. Thanks again for dinner. At least you won't trip over me again now you know where I am."

Sherlock stood up and opened his coat, pulling out a small brown leather case. "The men's toilet is through there..." He pointed towards the back of the restaurant. "...if you wanted to...um...tidy up a bit."

John unzipped the case and saw scissors, razor, comb and a small, still wrapped, bar of soap. "Thanks."

Heading past the other diners, some of whom ignored him, others staring at his unkempt appearance, making John grateful when he finally found the white-painted door with the gold stick-on universal sign for a male toilet and locked himself inside.

"Angelo!" Sherlock called the restaurant owner over with an impatient wave of his hand to accompany his shout.

"Sherlock...who was that?"

"Oh, he's a homeless man I fell over earlier. He's having a wash and then he's...well, going...home." Sherlock said offhandedly.

Angelo frowned. "Sherlock! You can't just...I mean it's like showing a kid a toyshop then taking him home empty-handed."

Sherlock's face took on that expression he wore when he had no idea what someone was talking about and he hated the feeling. "What do I do?"

Angelo smiled, shaking his head. "Your phone has the internet, right? Find the nearest homeless shelter and call to see if they have some room."

Sherlock tapped furiously on his phone, eyes darting up to the closed toilet door every few minutes. Finally, he found a place which confirmed they had room if John was to get there within the hour. Walking to the door, Sherlock hammered on it. "John! Hurry up!"

After a few minutes, John emerged, hair cut almost militarily short and a small deep cut above his eyebrow oozing blood. "I didn't mean to be so long...what?"

"You're bleeding." Sherlock pointed out.

"You made me jump. I was cutting my hair when you banged on the door. What's the rush?"

"There's a shelter in a church hall not far from here that has space if we get there in..." Sherlock glanced at his watch. "...the next forty minutes."

"How do you know that?" John asked suspiciously.

"I checked. Hurry up!"

John shook his head. His experience of those kinds of places hadn't been a positive one and he'd vowed never to go back voluntarily. "No thanks. I'd rather go back to the shop."

"Angelo!" Sherlock yelled down the restaurant, attracting the stares of several customers.

"Yes Sherlock?" Angelo enquired, his patience wearing just a little thin.

"Do you have first aid kit?"

"In the kitchen. Why?"

Sherlock put his arm around John's shoulders and spun him to face Angelo. "John cut himself. Apparently I was in some way responsible."

Angelo looked at John who just shook his head slightly.

"Come on." Angelo gestured for John to follow him.

After a couple of minutes John re-emerged from the kitchen, a large blue plaster on his forehead.

"Better?" Sherlock enquired.

John couldn't help but laugh. "Well, if I wanted everyone to know I'd cut myself, yes, much better."

Sherlock, John realized too late, didn't appear to appreciate his comment. Or understand it. Or something else John couldn't quite work out. But, whatever it was, Sherlock smiled tightly, taking the brown leather case from John, tucking it into his coat. "Good..shall we?"

"I think I can find my way back, thanks anyway." John closed his jacket, realizing too late yet another button was loose and wouldn't slide through the buttonhole. Crossly, he huffed and pulled it off, tucking it into his pocket.

Sherlock pulled his phone out of his pocket, dialed and waited. "Mrs Hudson...ah...you're still awake...good...oh...I did?...ah...well, I don't suppose you have a needle and thread I might borrow...no...not long...ten minutes...all right...bye. Come along John...Mrs Hudson's waiting."

John made a split-second decision and followed Sherlock out of the restaurant.


10.15pm...Baker Street

Sherlock let himself in, pulling off his gloves, scarf and coat, hanging them on the end of the banister rail, tucking the gloves in the pockets. "Mrs Hudson!"

Whatever John had been expecting, it wasn't the small elderly woman who emerged from the front door of her flat, padded sewing box in one hand, glasses in the other. She looked up at the large plaster on John's forehead and tutted. "Sherlock! You can't stitch a cut with something from my sewing box."

Sherlock huffed. "I know...John's button came loose. Some are missing. Can you do something?"

John put out his hand. "John Watson."

Mrs Hudson smiled kindly. "Pleased to meet you dear. Are you a friend of Sherlock's? He hasn't lived here long so I don't know all his friends."

John turned to Sherlock, eyebrow raised. When there was no help, he smiled brightly: "Really? Oh, well, yes, we're...old friends."

Mrs Hudson waved her hands. "Come along dear...it's long past my bedtime and buttons take forever to do properly."

John shrugged himself out of his jacket, suddenly horribly aware that his face and hands were the cleanest parts of him. And that his jacket was scuffed and torn in several places. Embarrassed, he handed it over.

Apparently Mrs Hudson wasn't as short-sighted as John might have hoped. "I'll just put this through the wash dear. I'll fix the buttons when it's dry."

Sherlock headed up the stairs, pausing halfway. "It can wait until the morning Mrs Hudson. John's staying over. John?"

Faced with little choice - Sherlock's landlady had his jacket and he'd just lied to her about his relationship with her tenant - John followed Sherlock upstairs.

As the door opened, Sherlock flicked on the light and John gasped. "Christ, you've been burgled!"

Sherlock frowned as he walked into the living room. "What?"

"The mess!"

Sherlock managed to look a little embarrassed. "Um...no...it's...well, it's usually like this."

John felt his cheeks heat. "Sorry...I didn't mean..."

Sherlock strode confidently through the various piles of magazines, books and sheet music, ending up in the kitchen. John remained close to the door, deciding he would take a little longer to work out a safe route to the couch. He considered two possible routes, settling for the longer but less cluttered one, arriving without injury at the dark leather two seater.

"Tea?" Sherlock called.

"Thanks...so...how long have you lived here?"

A few minutes later, Sherlock brought two mugs into the living room, striding easily through the mostly floor-based chaos, handing one over. "Um...moved in...10th of February...thirty-two days."

John couldn't help his smile at Sherlock's precise answer. As his facial muscles creased, the plaster on his forehead became loose at the bottom edge and blood began to trail down John's face once more.

Sherlock frowned and headed back into the kitchen, returning with a red plastic box with a white cross on the lid. Reaching across John, Sherlock flicked on the lamp and placed the box beside John.

"Uh...I can manage thanks. I just need a mirror."

Sherlock stared at John. "Did you learn to treat head wounds while living in a shop doorway?"

John didn't react to the sarcastic tone of Sherlock's question. "No...I learned to treat head wounds as part of my medical degree."

Sherlock's eyes widened in surprise. "You're a doctor?!"

John nodded. "I was. I was shot while serving in Afghanistan and I can't get my medical license back because I have..."

Sherlock reached down, gripping John's shaking left hand gently. "An intermittent tremor in your left hand. Which leg was it?"

John looked uncomfortable. "Left shoulder."

Sherlock thought he'd misheard. "You have a limp."

"My therapist thought it was psychosomatic. She doesn't see me after a night on a damp piece of concrete."

"You're a doctor...you were a soldier. Any other...hidden talents?"

John smiled, relaxing a little. He leaned down, picking up a piece of sheet music from the floor beside him. "I can play the clarinet. You play the violin?"

Sherlock nodded. "When I'm thinking. And I'm not really interested in idle gossip or chitchat. There's a room upstairs. It's not very big and the bathroom only has a shower but if you wanted to...um...stay...Mrs Hudson would like it...she doesn't even like to go out to the shops in case...well, I set fire to something or..."

John forgot someone he barely knew was offering him a place to sleep. "Set fire...what do you do?"

"Experiments." Sherlock said simply.

"Oh...you're a scientist?"

"Consulting detective." Sherlock corrected firmly. "Well?"

John's mind was still reeling from everything that had happened in the previous two hours and he could do little more than nod. "Thanks."

"I'll see you in the morning. I don't often sleep for more than a couple of hours. I'll try not to disturb you when I get up."

"Goodnight. And...thanks again."


Sherlock headed to his bedroom and John looked around the chaotic mess which surrounded him.

Not wanting to go to sleep on a full stomach, he began to sort the magazines by title and date, piling them into low neat piles under the window, clearing the space in front of the sofa, armchair and a route into the kitchen. He sorted the sheet music by composer and piled it beside the music stand under the window. Finally, he returned as many of the books as he could to the bookshelves around the room, leaving those that wouldn't fit piled neatly around the sides of the couch. Standing back, he surveyed his efforts and smiled, remembering his faux pas when he first saw the mess Sherlock appeared happy to live in.

Yawning, he headed up the stairs, trying not to give in to the emotions he felt boiling inside his chest as he saw the clean, tidy bed.

He opened the door at the far side of the room and found, as Sherlock had described, a small bathroom, a toilet, sink and shower cubicle squeezed into the narrow space. Taking a towel from the rail inside the door, he turned on the shower and let it run while he undressed. He used as much spicy-scented shower gel as he dared, inhaling the scented steam deeply, letting the hot water run over his face, forgetting his cut until he tasted blood. Ignoring it, he finished washing himself then came out of the shower and dried himself off, sighing as he realized the towel was slightly bloodstained from his opened cut.

Opening the wardrobe, John found a nightshirt which was way too big but would be enough to cover himself with while he headed back down to the kitchen to find the first aid kit.

As John rifled the cupboard under the sink where he guessed the first aid kit would be, he heard Sherlock behind him: "You forgot to be careful of your head."

John turned and nodded, blood still trailing slowly down his forehead and cheek.

"Go and sit on the..." Sherlock stared at the living room. "What did you do?!"

Trying not to sound like an irritated older relative, John said calmly: "I tidied."

"Oh." Sherlock swept around the room, his dressing gown catching the air and billowing out behind him, swooping down now and then, familiarizing himself with the way John had organized things in the room.

"Um...first aid kit?" John prompted.

Sherlock pirouetted and headed into his room. "It needs topping up so I took it with me to remind me."

John walked over to the couch and sat, waiting until Sherlock reappeared. He sat beside John and peered intently at John's oozing brow for a moment or two. "I don't think a plaster's sufficient protection."

"I don't suppose you have any butterfly..."

Sherlock held up a pack of the small white dressing strips. "Unless you'd rather I pop a couple of stitches in?"

John shook his head firmly. "They'll be fine thanks."

Sherlock shrugged and lay the packet on John's lap. "I'll just wash my hands. Here."

John couldn't hide his smile as Sherlock handed over a perfectly gleaming handkerchief from his pyjama jacket pocket. He pressed it to his forehead, wincing at the sting. Before he had time to think about it too much Sherlock had returned to his side.

"Hold still." Sherlock instructed, opening the pack and unpeeling one of the shorter of the range of adhesive strips.

John winced as Sherlock's thumbs smoothed the strip either side of the wound. He wondered briefly if he should have gone with his earlier assessment of the cut and asked for a mirror so he could have stitched it up. However it was too late as Sherlock was busy applying strip after strip, keeping them closely lined up and pressing each in place firmly.

Finally, Sherlock sat back. "There...they'll stick better than a plaster. If you don't get them wet."

John rolled his eyes. "I just forgot! It's been a while since I had a shower, okay?!"

Sherlock stood up, closing the first aid box. "Yes...well, is the bed okay?"

John smiled. "I'll let you know."

"Okay." Sherlock said, apparently losing interest in the conversation at that point.
John remembered what Sherlock had said about how he didn't enjoy chatting and got to his feet. "Goodnight then." But he was talking to himself. Sherlock's bedroom door clicked closed and he was alone. For the second time that night he headed up to the bedroom.


John expected he would sleep through the night, waking only when it got too light to sleep or Sherlock made too much noise. In the event, it was neither. He woke to find Sherlock shaking him. Hard.

"John! Wake up! You're having a nightmare!"

John's eyes snapped open and he sobbed as he tried to catch his breath. "Wha...ohhh...ahh!"

Sherlock released John's arms, letting him lean back against the headboard. "Are you all right now?!" He demanded.

John's throat was sore, his voice hoarse. "Yes...yes...sorry...thanks...sorry."

Sherlock's fingertips brushed John's forehead lightly. "Well, at least these stayed put."

John's breathing returned, slowly, to normal and he ran his fingers through his unevenly trimmed hair. "Your housekeeper must think you've let a lunatic stay over."

Sherlock chuckled softly. "She won't wake up. She didn't when I blew up the microwave."

John stared, open-mouthed. "How are you still alive?"

Sherlock frowned. "I wasn't near it at the time. I was in the bath and I forgot I'd left the hand in there..."

John tried hard to push the mental picture of a dismembered limb out of his mind.

"...and by the time I remembered, it was too late. The wrist had been broken and pinned and the metal reacted with the electromagnetic waves and just...well...blew up."

John yawned and Sherlock turned to leave, his hand on the door. "My brother's checked and you're entitled to a whole list of benefits and compensation and other financial...things. I'll show you in the morning."

John frowned. "Your brother works for the benefits office? And he's still there at this time of night."

Sherlock shook his head. "No, but he was awake."

John wasn't satisfied with the evasive half-answer and pressed: "And he's an expert in army veteran pensions."

Sherlock frowned. "No, but the man he called apparently is. 'Night."

John sighed tiredly as the door closed. Laying down, he folded his arms under his head and closed his eyes.


7.00 next morning

John rolled over and sighed contentedly. Waking slowly he stretched and yawned to wakefulness before fully registering where he was. He wracked his brains to try and remember the name of the man who had bought him dinner - the long slim-fingered hand had waved dismissively when John had attempted to pay with the £50 note - and invited him to spend the night.

John groaned inwardly when he remembered what had happened in the early hours of the morning. It wasn't likely he'd be invited to spend another night. He also recalled what he'd been told - that he was entitled to benefits. Which was great. Except you needed things like a permanent address and a bank account with money in it to get them.

Lifting himself onto his elbows, John heard the soft sound of gently-played violin drifting up the stairs to his room from the living room below.  

As his eyes adjusted to the half-light, John looked over at the chair under the window. There was a grey wool dressing gown draped over the back, neatly-folded plaid flannel pyjamas on the seat. His own clothes were gone. Climbing out of bed, John dressed and headed downstairs, the music increasing in volume, though not by much, as he entered the living room.


Sherlock's hand stilled, the bow poised over the violin strings. "Mrs Hudson's washing your clothes. She says she'll mend them as well as she can but they won't be dry for a while."

John nodded, embarrassed. "Thanks...for the...pyjamas."

Sherlock's gaze raked up and down John's torso. "Didn't want you wandering around the flat naked...Mycroft or Lestrade could drop by."


"My brother...or Detective Inspector Lestrade. If he needs my help on a case."

John nodded. "Shall I make some tea?"

"We should get a teapot." Sherlock observed. "Now there are two of us."

John frowned. "Look, I told you last night..."

Sherlock huffed crossly. "John, you've already made your feelings on...that topic...quite clear. Can I assume the upstairs bedroom is preferable to the shop doorway?"

John nodded. "Yes...but..."

"And that the lock on your bedroom door is functioning efficiently?"

"There's a lock?" John exclaimed.

Sherlock ignored John's outburst. "And your continued presence here will both reassure my brother and allow my landlady to venture out of the front door on occasion."

John sank into the armchair. "You don't know anything about me."

"You're a homeless ex-army doctor who's bothered more by a loose button than anyone with the possible exception of myself. You're young enough to still have living parents, siblings, other relatives and yet one year after you returned from serving your country your home is the newsagents doorway through which I step every morning to purchase my daily newspapers. You're entitled to benefits which you don't claim, compensation which you haven't applied for and..."

John looked up as Sherlock took a breath. "It was easier to just...give up."

Sherlock nodded understandingly. "I did that...once...a long time ago..." Sherlock's hands ruffled his hair.

"How did you...?" John wanted to think about how to ask his question but there wasn't time and he only half-asked.

Sherlock sat up suddenly, eyes locked on John's. "I found a distraction."

John smiled and got to his feet. "Tea?"

Sherlock nodded. "I'll go and get the papers."

John frowned as Sherlock reached the doorway. "Sherlock...you might want to get dressed first?"

Realizing John was right, Sherlock smiled, turning as he closed the front door. "Good idea...it's still chilly out this early."

John's laughter carried from the kitchen.