Title: Home truths
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 2010 Sherlock
Rating: G - suitable for all
Characters: Sherlock, John, John's parents (OFC/OMC)
Series: No
Spoilers: None intended, but anything might crop up
Summary: It's John's Mum's birthday. But visiting his Mum and Dad would involve leaving Sherlock alone in Baker Street. John doesn't think that's fair on the rest of the population of London.
Archive: Just tell me where it's going
Additional 'stuff': This plot bunny just wouldn't go away. Pure fluff. No excuses for it, just enjoy or ignore. I think they've been living together for some months at this point. I *was* going to let Sherlock buy John something else entirely, but, in my universe, they're not quite ready for it. I am getting there. I think. Just slowly.


John didn't waste any time when Sherlock appeared for breakfast. "Um...Sherlock, it's...um...my Mum's birthday on Saturday. I'm going home to...um...visit."

Sherlock's hand paused as he opened the paper. "Hmm? Oh, very well, I don't have anything I can't leave for a day."

John gulped. "Uh...well, you don't have to..."

Sherlock frowned, back-tracking quickly. "Oh, no of course, a family event, you won't want me to..."

"I'd like you to meet my parents." John said, hoping his voice didn't betray his surprise at Sherlock's apparent disappointment at being excluded.

Sherlock smiled briefly and picked up the paper. "Don't forget to pre-book the tickets and reserve seats."

John didn't bother correcting Sherlock's assumption that the train heading for Hampshire on a Saturday morning would be packed to the gills.

Later that day...

"Sherlock, I'm just popping out. Do we need anything?" John's voice carried from his room.

"Milk." Sherlock responded.

John didn't enquire where the two liters he'd bought only hours earlier had gone. Sitting on the bed, pen and paper in front of him, John wrote quickly, addressed the envelope, stuck a stamp on it and hurried down to the post box, dropping the letter in and offering  a silent prayer to the Post Office that it would arrive the following day.

He had considered calling his parents but there was no guarantee they'd be in when he called - they were active ramblers, keen National Trust members and were frequently out and about - so he played it safe, he hoped, and wrote a list of topics he would prefer his parents not mention when he visited with Sherlock.

Parents, family, work, money, relationships, food...as he began the list he didn't realize just how long it would be and even he was surprised as he worked his way through his mental list, noting them all down.


Saturday morning...

John's parents met them at the station. "Happy birthday Mum. Mum, Dad, this is Sherlock Holmes." John hugged his mother then looked over at Sherlock, standing uncomfortably a few feet from John's parents car.

"How was the journey down?" Rose asked to fill the silence as they headed from the station.

"Tedious." Sherlock said with feeling. The train had been boringly empty, leaving Sherlock little opportunity for the distraction of people watching which he usually occupied himself with on long journeys.

John groaned inwardly and stared out of the window.

"How's work darling?" Rose tried again.

John turned his attention back to his mother. "Fine...I'm working in A and E again." He didn't bother his mother with the detail - that he was on a three-month trial in the department during which the consultant in charge during his shifts was expected to monitor the tremor in John's left hand  - and the GMC had made it very clear if there were any concerns about patient safety, he would be expected to resign.

It had eased a little but was still making itself known now and then, mostly, thankfully during the quiet times John was writing up patient notes or on a break.

Sherlock was very aware of John's father's scrutiny of, mostly him, as he and John sat in the back of the car. Once he locked eyes with the man in the driving seat until the gaze returned to the road ahead. Mostly he stared silently out of the window as they drove through the town centre.


The Watson house...a little later

"Anything I can do to help Mum?" John asked.

"Oh no darling...unless you want to set the table?" John nodded and headed into the dining room. Henry, why don't you show Sherlock your new saw?" John's mum suggested.

Henry Watson smiled. "Oh yes, it's amazing, the things you can do with it. I turn wood...bowls, dishes, I've even done some fruit."

Sherlock cast a desperate glance in John's direction but John's back was already turned and he missed Sherlock's silent plea.

Contrary to his expectations, John's dad's 'workshop' as he called it, was a revelation. Tools stored in perfect order, the outlines of the ends of those hung on the walls outlined in black to show where they should be returned to. 

Sherlock stared silently. Slowly, very slowly, he turned a complete circle, taking in both walls. "Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful."

Henry Watson smiled, uncovering the woodturning lathe. "Rose doesn't think I need all these tools but what do women know, hmm?"

Sherlock didn't answer questions he didn't know the answer to and kept silent.

"Would you like a go?" He turned the machine on and held out a block of pine.

Sherlock shook his head. "I'll just watch."

Henry took a block of darker wood - Sherlock guessed at teak - and began to form it into a small bowl. As he polished the finished object with some oil on a cloth, he looked up at Sherlock standing close to his shoulder. "So, John tells us you're a detective."

"*Consulting* detective." Sherlock corrected.

"Must keep you busy these days."


Henry struggled to find a different topic of conversation and Sherlock didn't offer anything further. Within a few minutes, he suggested: "Shall we go back inside? You can take this for your flat."

Sherlock took the small bowl, smiled briefly in thanks, then followed him silently.


John didn't think he'd ever been so nervous. He tried not to let his anxiety show, said nothing as Sherlock sat down and began to help himself to the roast dinner on the table. He wasn't sure if he was pleased as Sherlock took a slice of chicken, some of all the vegetables, a potato, even pouring some gravy over his food, filling his plate to a greater extent than John had expected. He knew his mother wouldn't be pleased if Sherlock failed to clear his plate.

For the second time that day, Sherlock confounded John's expectations, taking a while but, eventually, more-or-less clearing his plate.

"There's cake if you have room?" Rose stood up, picking up the plates.

John smiled and leaned back in his chair, licking his lips. "Mmm...yes please."

Sherlock shook his head briefly. "No, thank you Mrs Watson."

John's mother smiled. "Call me Rose, dear."

Sherlock smiled and looked over at John who was still a little shell-shocked at Sherlock's appetite. "Let me help you with the dishes."

Rose shook her head emphatically. "No dear, you're a guest. Why don't you go and sit in the lounge. Darling, you too. I'll bring the cake in when I've cleared the table."

Sherlock followed John into the living room and sat on the sofa next to him.

"Your father gave us a bowl."

John smiled. "Just one?"

Sherlock smiled and leaned back, crossing his ankles. "Mmm...so...did I behave myself properly?"

John was more than a little surprised that Sherlock had asked the question. "So far." John said teasingly.

Sherlock smiled smugly as John's mum bought John a slice of cake.

John took the plate and fork. "Thanks mum...is Dad taking you out for your birthday?"

Rose smiled as her husband joined them in the living room. "Well, we thought we might come back with you, in the car. We haven't been to London for ever such a long time and it would save you having to get the train."

Sherlock frowned. "But we have return train..."

John coughed and was relieved when Sherlock stopped in mid-sentence. "That's great mum...you can come and see the flat." John deliberately didn't make eye contact with Sherlock just then. He could imagine what Sherlock's reaction to his offer would have been. Instead, he concentrated on eating the huge chunk of cake his mum had given him.


In the kitchen, John's parents stood at the window, watching John and Sherlock in the garden. Henry put his arm around his wife's waist. She looked up at him. After almost five decades of marriage, she could read her husband's mind. "He's happy, Henry. Finally, he's happy. That's all that matters."

"He's strange Rose. A boy that age not having a proper job..."

"He's hardly a 'boy' darling." Rose smiled, watching her son and his flatmate in the garden. She hadn't told her husband half the things on the list John had sent her. "And he clearly has money or he wouldn't be able to be a...what did he say he did?"

"Some sort of detective." Henry scoffed. "Ridiculous occupation for someone in this day and age.  And did you see what he ate? Not enough to keep a fly alive!"

Rose smiled without answering and began to fill the sink with soapy water. She looked up as she heard a bout of laughter through the window. John and his friend were raking and bagging leaves in between arguing good-naturedly about something she couldn't quite hear.


John picked up a pile of leaves and waved them at Sherlock.

"You wouldn't dare!" Sherlock backed away, just in case John *would* dare.

"Say it."

"Never!" Sherlock shook his head to reinforce his response.

"Say it or I'll dare." John warned.

"Oh honestly John, you're being childish!" Sherlock scowled.

John hardly ever noticed the height difference between them but he was suddenly very conscious of the fact that there was no way he could actually dump the pile of leaves he was, more-or-less, holding on Sherlock's head.

"Say it. I was wrong John and you were right. I had a nice time today."

"Do you have to be right all the time?" Sherlock countered in an attempt to distract John.

John wasn't at all distracted. "I'm almost never right. But I am today. Say it Sherlock, or I'll throw them."

Sherlock sighed deeply. "Very well. Contrary to my expectations, today has been, in almost all aspects, bearable."

"Almost all?" John frowned.

"The journey down was boring. And we have yet to make the return trip."

John smiled and dropped the leaves he had been holding.

"Come on, let's go back in." He looked around the garden. "Well, you go back in, I'll finish raking the leaves."

Sherlock looked and saw the chaos they had caused to the previously neat piles of leaves. Picking up a thick green sack, he shook it to open it. "I'll help."

For the second time that day, John was too shocked at Sherlock's behavior to form any kind of response.


John directed his father as they pulled off the motorway, entering the early evening chaos of pre-Christmas London traffic. "Just pull up here Dad...Mrs Hudson doesn't drive so there's no problem parking right outside the flat."

"That's convenient." Rose Watson smiled, opening the car door.

Sherlock lead the way into the house and upstairs to the flat, opening the door. "Tea?"

Henry and Rose both nodded. 

John offered up a silent prayer that there wasn't anything horribly unpleasant on the kitchen table that he'd forgotten to clear up earlier in the day. He couldn't bank on his mother not to follow him.

He was also more than a little relieved Mrs Hudson had her knitting circle meeting this evening - she was likely to be away for at least as long as his parents would be in the house - so he was spared the inevitable female chatter which he knew his mother and Mrs Hudson would engage in.

While John was busy in the kitchen, Sherlock walked around the flat, pulled the curtains closed and picked up some of the magazines which lay scattered around the room more for something to do than any attempt at actual tidying.

When John came back in the living room carrying a tray with four cups, a sugar bowl and a milk jug, Sherlock finally ceased pacing and settled onto the armchair.

"So...um...Mum...have you been to any interesting stately homes..." John tried to fill the silence.

"Oh, yes your father took me to the Isle of Wight last week and we had a tour around Osborne House."

As Rose Watson described the house and grounds, Sherlock began to fidget and John shot him a look he hoped silently conveyed his wish that Sherlock would stop it. Now. Right now.

John made 'interested' faces and noises as he listened, making his tea last as long as he possibly could in between surreptitiously watching Sherlock's poor attempt at feigning interest in Mrs Watson's monologue.

"So Mum...would you like to go to Trafalgar Square or?"

Rose looked at her husband. "Actually darling, we thought we might go to Harrods. Just to look around of course."

"Okay, great, we'll get a taxi and..." John ignored Sherlock's audible snort. "Sherlock's got lots of emails and stuff to catch up on, haven't you Sherlock?" John asked, his tone indicating there was only one possible response.

"Oh, yes...I suppose so." Sherlock said airily.

"Oh really dear? You can't leave them for an hour or two?" Rose frowned.

Sherlock appeared to consider the question and John glared at him "Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt...I'll meet you there. I have stop to make on the way." He got up and headed out of the flat, pulling his coat on as he left.

After they finished their tea, John suggested they get a taxi and he flagged one down after a short wait just across from the flat.

Rose only just managed to get into the taxi before asking: "Your...friend...is he always so..."

John nodded. "Yes. Always. He had a horrible childhood, his mum died when he was really young, he got picked on at school and he's a hundred times cleverer than anyone else so..." John really didn't know how to finish the sentence.

Rose exchanged a glance with her husband. "Darling, you know your father and I are very relaxed about Harriet and..."

"Mum!" John scowled. "I'm sharing a flat with Sherlock. That's all, okay?!"

The taxi driver glanced back to the passengers, hiding a smile at the drama in the back of his cab.

"If you say so darling, but I saw the way he looked at you and..."

"Mum...please!" John pleaded.

Rose smiled, reaching forward to squeeze her son's hand gently. "I mean, he's nice-looking, he seems to have money of his own and..."

"Dad, please...do something!" John begged desperately.

Henry shook his head. "Son, when your mother gets an idea about something, you know there's no point in trying to change her mind."

"I'm not sleeping with Sherlock!!" John exploded. "Stop the cab...now please!" He got to his feet as the vehicle slowed.

"Darling, don't be silly! Sit down. Driver, please keep going, my son's just being melodramatic." Rose said sharply.

John was angry and he snapped: "Look Mum, I'm sorry you don't believe me, and I know it's your birthday and everything but..."

As the car pulled up outside the brightly-lit Harrods frontage, John's eyes widened as he realized Sherlock was waiting, opening the taxi door as the vehicle pulled to a halt.

John escaped quickly from the cab, not sure if Sherlock's presence was going to make things easier. Experience with his mother and Sherlock had taught him it wasn't likely.

"Sherlock, please tell my mother we're not...romantically...involved." John stared at Sherlock as his parents joined them on the pavement.

Sherlock smiled but kept silent and John felt his blood pressure rise for a second time. "Sherlock, I'm serious!"

"Mrs Watson...shall we?" Ignoring John, Sherlock held out his arm and waited for John's mum to slide her arm into his.

John scowled and followed with his dad. Softly, unheard by anyone else, John muttered: "I'm going to kill him."


Of course, Sherlock had organized personal shoppers for Rose and Henry who disappeared in opposite directions to explore the different departments and floors of the huge department store.

"Sherlock!" John hissed as his parents moved out of earshot.

"Yes John?" Sherlock asked wearing a butter-wouldn't-melt smile.

"My mum thinks we're a couple." John hissed crossly.

Sherlock's smile didn't falter for an instant. "Really John, surely you realize your protests are a waste of time and energy. Your mother's mind is quite made up and nothing will alter her opinion."

"I could flirt with a shop assistant." John said quickly, looking round.

"Quite pointless given that your mother is nowhere to be seen, wouldn't you agree? That, together with fact that this is the men's casual clothing section and the assistants are, therefore, exclusively male, may, perhaps, reinforce her belief rather than disprove it."

John huffed and rifled through a rack of pastel colored silk shirts. Seeing the price tag on one of them he stepped hastily back.

"Hmm...not really your style John, you're more..." Sherlock paced around the racks and displays finally settling his hand on a pile of neatly-folded long-sleeved cotton shirts in various muted shades with barely-there checks. "Yes...here." Sherlock pulled one of the shirts free and handed it to John.

"Yeah, Sherlock, very nice. But the rent's due and you haven't had a case in three weeks so..." John reached down to replace the shirt but Sherlock took it from him, making eye contact with a shop assistant. "Put this on my account please."

"Of course Sir...shall I keep it by in case you find something else?"

"Why not." Sherlock said, ignoring John's look, a mixture of surprise and dismay.

"Sherlock...okay, I'm not ungrateful, but you don't have to buy..." John began, only to be silenced by a finger pressed lightly to his lips.

"Now, John, I never criticize your wardrobe as you know, but I really think it's time you replaced this jacket. I mean, it must be at least two years old."

John didn't bother correcting Sherlock's guesstimate. He was out by almost a decade but as he had wandered off into another section of the shop John had little choice but to follow him when Sherlock called: "John...jackets...over here."

A male shop assistant materialized moments after Sherlock's discreet cough caught his attention and walked briskly around the racks, bringing down three jackets, all similar to the style and length the customer was wearing.

John didn't bother checking any of the price tags - after the shirt he was certain they would all be three figures  - and he endured the shop assistant and Sherlock discussing the three jackets as if he wasn't even there.

Finally Sherlock seemed to remember he was actually only inches away. "Well John, do you have a preference?"

Yeah, my preference is to get the hell out of here John thought but didn't say. Instead, he looked at his reflection in the mirror then to the jackets the assistant and Sherlock were holding. "That one." He pointed to the one Sherlock was holding.

"Excellent choice Sir."

John was about to thank the assistant when he realized the man was addressing Sherlock.


Rose kissed Sherlock on both cheeks and Henry shook his hand. "Thank you. The wife had a wonderful time and I'm sure she'll make good use of the coat when we're out and about. The gloves are wonderful. Very comfortable."

"You got my mum a coat?" John looked from his mum to Sherlock.

Sherlock nodded, clearly at the end of his boredom allowance. "The long-range weather forecast is for a cold winter."

John muttered: "Of course it is." Then, more loudly: "Mum, Dad, you're sure you won't stay and have dinner?"

Henry shook his head. "Your Mum's watching her weight son. She won't eat two big meals in one day. And we've got to get back. It's a good hour and a half back."

John didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed but he didn't have much time to think about it as Sherlock opened the front door and held it open expectantly.

John waited until he'd waved his parents off, his Mum holding his hand-written instructions as to how to get back onto the motorway, before following Sherlock inside.



John hung up his new jacket, changed into his new shirt and wandered downstairs into the kitchen to put the kettle on. "Sherlock? Tea?"

Sherlock barely looked up from where he was sitting, notebook open in front of him, fingers pausing briefly. "Yes, thank you John. Hmm...the shirt...nice."

Smiling, John walked over carrying the two mugs. Placing one beside Sherlock he sipped at his own drink.

"Thanks for the Harrods thing."

Sherlock stopped typing and sat back, regarding John carefully. "I wasn't certain you would approve."

"Mum loved it and Dad seemed to enjoy himself too."

"I meant my choosing your clothes."

John shrugged. "You know what I like."

Sherlock steepled his fingertips together, dipping his head for a moment. "I bought you something else."

John raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

Sherlock reached into his jacket and pulled out a small green plastic bag with the Harrods logon emblazoned on both sides. He held it out but wouldn't let John take it. "If you don't like it I want you to promise me you will tell me."

Curious, John nodded quickly. "Promise."

Sherlock released his grip on the bag and John reached in and pulled out a rectangular black hinged box. "Sherlock?"

Sherlock smiled enigmatically, saying nothing.

Opening the box, John saw what sat nestled in the grey satin lining. More firmly, he asked again: "Sherlock?!"

"Not every situation calls for your Browning, John. I thought it was time you had a proper toolkit."

John unwrapped the folded gray canvas. "Sherlock, this is...wow...it's...amazing!"

"Now, you're sure John? You're not just trying to spare my feelings?" Sherlock pressed.

"It's great Sherlock. Thanks. Thanks a lot."  

Sherlock smiled and sat back, crossing his arms behind his head. "So, all in all a most successful day then."

John nodded. "Very. So...dinner?"

Sherlock shook his head. "Not for me. But we can go to Angelo's if you want. He's trying a new menu."

"Which you're going to just sit and watch me eat from?" John's voice mirrored his expression of disapproval.

"I had quite enough food at your parent's thank you John." Sherlock said firmly, expecting, and preparing to ignore, a lecture from his flat mate.

Seeing Sherlock's expression change, John gave up then. Sherlock had eaten what was by his standards a large amount of food at lunch time. They always ate breakfast while dissecting the Sunday papers and John planned to make a casserole for Sunday lunch so he wasn't *too* bothered if Sherlock skipped dinner. If he had learned one thing living with Sherlock Holmes, it was to pick his battles over Sherlock's food intake carefully. "I'll get my coat."

Sherlock got up and went into his bedroom to dress. As he pulled on his coat, he called through the half-open door: "Oh, John I almost forgot. It's Mycroft's 40th birthday on Friday. He's invited us to some tedious party. I accepted on condition I could bring someone. We'll leave at about seven-thirty and be home by nine."

John came downstairs and waited for Sherlock in the living room. "What are you taking as a present?"

Sherlock smiled mischievously. "I thought as the two of you get on so well, I'd gift-wrap you."

John laughed and threw a cushion at Sherlock's head.