Sherlock watched in schocked bemusement as John rounded on Anderson, his fist connecting squarely on the idiot's jaw. The two had been at odds ever since Anderson had adopted Donovan's nickname for Sherlock ("freak"). The most recent usage after Sherlock's delighted grin of non-boredom at the triple homicide had been enough to send an already-stressed Watson over the edge.
Sherlock sidled up to him next to one of the bodies after the bout had subsided. "So how was it?"
"What, clocking Anderson?" The good doctor grinned, "Better than you can imagine."
John bent with his hands on his knees, puffing out cold air as he caught his breath. "I'm getting old," he panted, the forgotten ball rolling away across the abandoned court. He glared up at the rusted old hoop with a wince at a sharp pain in his leg. "I used to be able to dunk back in secondary school."
Sherlock only tugged at John's sleeve, impatiently dragging him away from the scene of his failure. He wondered if John needed to be told that sporting ability didn't matter to him.
Sherlock glanced out of the corner of his eye to ensure John was following along, paying attention. "With your cheekbones and your collar," he'd ranted. With the most imperceptible of smirks, Sherlock forged ahead into the mist and popped his collar with a flourish. Surely enough, John rolled his eyes, but by now he had to realize that it really was all a show just for him. Sherlock silently vowed to find more things that John paid attention to.
John longed to scratch his side. He squirmed uncomfortably as the itch nagged at him, almost as though it knew he couldn't get to it through the thick-hided beekeeping suit. "Aren't you almost done, Sherlock? I can't believe you're doing this."
Sherlock withdrew his head from the giant beehive, the last in a line of five. "Yes, that should do it. Now I just need to run these samples against the one found on the victim. Let's go." Sherlock immediately started making towards the rental car, leaving John struggling with his suit and trying to apologize to the beekeeper.
"Hold up," he called to the impatient detective, "Some people actually use the equipment designed for this job. We're not all miraculous bee-whisperers, you know."
Sherlock only laughed as he leaned against the car, suckling the raw honey from his fingers.
John shuffled home from a long, menial day at work. He drudged up the stairs and stood in the door frame of 221B. Everything was exactly how he had left it. No thumbs in the fridge, no chemicals burning away on the kitchen table, no violin wavering away through the air and no gangly detective sitting in the leather armchair. John glanced at his own chair, despairing the thought of another day sitting in it with nobody across from him.
Instead of taking his jacket off and settling in, he turned back around and hurried down the steps. He had barely remembered to lock the door behind himself before sprinting away down Baker street, trying to escape everything that reminded him of Sherlock.
John laid his head in his palm with a sigh. "So run this by me one more time. We have to break into the Yard WHY? I mean, aren't they under your jurisdiction?"
Mycroft crossed his legs and leaned back with a stern look at John. "You know I'm not at liberty to say. Just see to it that Sherlock doesn't go overboard and get himself into trouble, would you? Your deadline is 3am tomorrow." John was starting to see why Sherlock hated dealing with his brother so much.
John rose from his crouching position at the edge of the rooftop, his leg starting to ache a bit from the cold and his general sense of unease. Exhaling a thick fog into the frigid autumn air, he turned again to Sherlock with a sigh.
"Remind me again what we're doing up here?" His body let out a little shiver as the chill seeped into him. They'd already been up there for ten minutes, staring at the intersection below.
Sherlock adjusted his coat as it blew in the tailwind. "We're keeping watch for the murderer. He'll strike next at that inn across the street."
John stifled his protests about how they could have done this just as easily from the warm cafe below them, and instead shoved his hands into the pockets of his meager jacket. He wished he'd had a chance to check the weather report before they'd left, as the temperature seemed to be steadily dropping into the 10s. A sidelong glance at Sherlock, warm in his scarf and Belstaff beauty, (like all things) did not go unnoticed.
Sherlock appreciated the effort that John had put into this. Really, he did. For a mind of one of the ordinary population, this was incredible work. Sherlock was sure that John thought he had missed no detail, thought of every possibility. But creating a mystery for Sherlock to solve during their dry spell, as carefully crafted as it may have been, simply didn't produce the same effect upon solving when Sherlock could TELL by the little traces left behind by his best friend that it was only a placebo.
The one person Sherlock knew best in the world, did he really think he wouldn't notice?
Even still, Sherlock would have to think of some way to thank John for his effort.