Sherlock Holmes sighed, leaning his head back against the over-sterilized, flat hospital pillows behind him. The room around him was nearly bleached to the point of being the scene of an over-experienced bank robbery, and smelled just as bad. Not that it smelled like bleach, mind you, but the intensity of whatever smell it was was just as strong. Sherlock noted this all absently, having long since deduced every possible thing that this room could have to offer him. He had even memorized the number of cracks in the white-washed ceiling. There were 138, if anyone bothered to ask.
Honestly, Sherlock was going out of his mind. He would prefer Mycroft’s endless chastising to the boredom he was left with currently. After his little “accident”, Sherlock could barely get a word in edgewise to ask to be taken to the hospital between Mycroft’s reprimands. Now, the dull, monotone voice of his brother had left him unceremoniously without even so much as a book to read. If there was one person in the world who knew torture, it was Mycroft Holmes. Sherlock was going to kill someone at this rate, if anyone even bothered to come in.
As if on cue to Sherlock’s self-pity induced threat, the door to his little hospital room was opened, revealing a smiling man in a long, white jacket. The brunet’s mind jumped eagerly to the distraction.
The man, presumably a doctor, was about three years older than Sherlock himself, so going on his late thirties. He was a retired army doctor, having returned from abroad not too long ago, where he had worked equal amounts outside and in. Though his skin was not dark by any means, so possibly he had been back for as long as a year. He was wounded through the shoulder in an injury that ended his days in the army, forcing him to retire with honors. Currently living in an apartment that was too much for him to afford, the man (Dr. Watson, from his name badge peeking from inside his jacket) worked double shifts and another entirely at a different hospital to even entertain the thought of staying in London. He was at his last straw though, if the uneasy madness behind his eyes was genuine, and was on the edge of boredom himself. Not even three hospital jobs was enough to quell the adolescent need for adventure underneath his thinly composed exterior. Sherlock smiled softly. This man was just as bad as he was.
“Mr. Holmes, I’m glad to see you lucid. I’m Dr. John Watson. I patched you up earlier.” Dr. Watson said with a smile, nodding before walking over to Sherlock’s bedside. He limped, obviously on the verge of needing a cane, though it was only psychosomatic and not caused by any actual injury. Sherlock drunk in these facts like a horse led to water in a desert, ravenous for more.
“Please, call me Sherlock. And I’m more lucid than I care to be. Pleasure to meet you.” Sherlock shifted to a more upright position, wincing at the pain shooting up his leg. He looked down at his cast, the white material bandaging all the way from his ankle to above his knee.
“How do you feel?” Dr. Watson asked, looking to his clipboard. Sherlock rolled his eyes. Doctors. Always busy to get the job done and leave as soon as possible.
“Fine. Besides the obvious fact that my right leg is immobile after bending an unnatural direction.” This got the doctor to look up, eyebrows raised. Sherlock quirked an eyebrow himself, and the pair stared at each other for a moment. Sherlock’s expression didn’t change, but on the inside he was beaming. This was a new development… Every doctor in Sherlock’s past experience hadn’t given him a sideways glance when he said something sarcastic. But John Watson, he was different. He noticed when he was being fed lies. And perhaps he would be a bit of entertainment as well.
“Yes, that is unfortunate. Any discomfort?”
“Yes, I am in pain. Is it illegal to label a product orange juice when it clearly does not contain any actually fruit, orange or otherwise? Because I believe it is…” It was all Sherlock could do not to grin. John cocked his head sideways exasperatedly, his clipboard going to his side with his arm.
“Mr. Holmes, c-“
“Sherlock, I insist.”
John paused, eyes narrowing for a moment before he released a slow breath through his nose. Oh, it was always fun annoying people, but Sherlock took a special pleasure out of this. For some reason, John just felt right to verbally joust with, even one-sidedly. The blonde doctor conceded after consideration that the sarcastic tone of the room wasn’t going to improve, and slipped a bit out of his professional role.
“Sherlock… If you don’t mind me asking, don’t you think you’re a little old to be riding motorcycles over hills and homemade ramps?” John was still speaking in a tone that suggested strict doctor-patient communication, but his eyes sparked to life a bit.
“Aren’t you a little young to have hair that silver?” Sherlock allowed himself to smile just a bit, which made John cross his arms.
“Sorry, I was inspired by your own roots. Forget your touch-up this month?”
Both men were grinning now, one sinking deeper into his pillows and the other taking a seat in the chair beside him. Sherlock shrugged, seemingly unfazed by the remark.
“I was busy. No time to dye between wrecking motorcycles that don’t belong to me.”
This sparked a whole new interesting in John, who slipped a little bit more out of his doctor mode.
Sherlock shrugged, smirking just a tiny bit. “It was a friend’s. I didn’t steal it, if that’s what you were wondering.”
“I wasn’t wondering anything. Other than how much you’re going to owe between a visit here and the damage.”
“Oh, I have enough to get by. Might need to get a flat mate though.” Sherlock could see it in John’s eyes. The realization, the hesitance, the doubt if Sherlock was really asking what he thought he was. The brunet kept his composure, flicking his thumbs together listlessly. “Interested?”
John certainly was intrigued now, but looked to the side, putting on a professional front.
“Even if I was allowed to make personal acquaintances with my patients, doesn’t it seem a bit unorthodox to offer a shared flat to a stranger? And how did you know that I was-“
“Hardly a stranger to me. After all, you have seen the inside of my leg. That’s more than most people have to go off of.”
John laughed, rubbing his eyebrow for a moment before writing something down on his clipboard and standing. “True. I’ll consider it. But really, how did you know that?”
Sherlock found that his lips were still curved upwards in a smile, something that he rarely did and even more rarely forgot he was doing. How strange…
“You met my brother, no doubt he made the same conclusions I have and shared them. Call it a family trait.”
John nodded, smiling interestedly. He had been skeptical about whether or not Mycroft had really gotten so much about him from just a look, but Sherlock being able to do the same thing was enough proof. He was probably the first person Sherlock had met that wasn’t put off by that.
“How about dinner? It’ll be good to have a doctor’s opinion about whether or not I use a crutch correctly.”
“I’ll consider it.” John was smiling as well, at the door now and working his way out. His mouth voiced uncertainty, but his eyes said that he had already made his decision, no matter how unorthodox or strange it might be. After all, they had barely even met, even if Sherlock already knew so much about the man standing in the doorway.
The door clicked shut, leaving Sherlock alone once more, but he wasn’t bored now. He was thinking through places that would be good for dinner with a doctor. And also the probability that John Watson enjoyed adventure and mystery as much as his boredom had suggested.