And There There’s the Jelly on His Doorknob

Martin Freeman as John Watson in BBC Sherlock walks behind Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes peering in a microscope

Apparently, Sherlock hasn’t noticed the boot black on the eyepieces yet, John

Let’s face it, John Watson would be perfectly within his rights to get a little of his own back…

Check back a little later on and there should be a new bit of flash fic for this one.

Right. Took a little longer than expected. Unexpected sunshine.

Sherlock. Timing.

By J.H. Watson
~950 words


John Watson wandered through the kitchen in his bathrobe and slippers, dabbing at his freshly shaved face with a towel. His flatmate, Sherlock Holmes, was peering into the microscope that took up a large portion of the kitchen table. The rest of the table was covered with books, papers and assorted scientific and chemical paraphernalia. John’s lip twitched at a corner as he passed Sherlock’s back.

Sherlock said, “John, please do not not touch my equipment without my permission.”

“Something wrong?’

“I’m familiar with the ‘boot black on the eyepieces’ form of hazing.”

John picked up the paper and sat in his chair. “Seb and his buddies at uni teach it to you?”

Sherlock continued to look into his scope. “No. My preparatory school classmates.”

John turned the page of the paper before saying, “Started young?”

“They had the excuse of being children. You are being merely childish.”

John turned another page. “I was referring to you. What did you do? Nicked all of their lunch money? Changed all of their grades? Exposed them to the bubonic plague to study the results?”

Sherlock sighed and finally looked up from his scope. The area around his eyes were red from apparent scrubbing. “I’ve apologized. It was not my intent to inconvenience you.”

John tossed his newspaper to the floor and stood up to face Sherlock. “Inconvenience me? I was humiliated in front of my date and about 100 other people in one of the poshest restaurants in London!”

“She wasn’t going to have sex with you anyway.”

“How— That’s not the point!” John took a deep breath and bit back whatever he was about to say. Sherlock tilted his head and stared at him with a questioning look. Quietly, John continued, “We’ve discussed this, Sherlock. You are not to use me, or anything of mine, without my knowledge.”

Sherlock stood up and started heading towards the hall.

John said, “You may want to grab some kitchen roll if you’re heading for the bathroom or your room.”

“Petroleum jelly on the knobs?”


Sherlock stepped back and grabbed some sheets and then disappeared. John went to the kitchen and poured himself some tea. From the bathroom there was a loud cry, followed by a rather choice string of expletives. John raised his voice and called out, “Sorry. Forgot about the cling film on the toilet bowl. Hope it didn’t ruin your suit.”

John couldn’t make out the subsequent comments, but he heard the door slam as he settled back into his chair. He smiled to himself as he picked up the paper and continued reading.

The next morning John came down to find Mycroft Holmes in conversation with his brother. Sherlock had his back to his brother, fussing with something around the coffee machine.

“This is important, Sherlock.”

“To you.”

John said, “Morning, boys. Arguing about who gets to play with the army today?”

Sherlock turned around with a cup of coffee in his hands. As he stepped towards John, Mycroft started coughing. Sherlock said, “John, good morning. Have a cup of coffee.”

John looked at the proffered cup suspiciously. “You don’t make coffee.”

“Not often. But I made it for you today.”

Mycroft was still coughing. He reached over and took the cup from the saucer and drank it in a gulp. Then he made a face of distaste and turned to Sherlock and said, “That’s awful! No wonder you don’t make the coffee.”

Sherlock looked at his brother. His face twitched. “That was for John.”

“Well, he should consider himself lucky.” Mycroft’s phone signaled. He looked at the screen and said, “I have to take this. We’ll talk more later, Sherlock.” As he passed John he said, “Good morning, John. Don’t drink the coffee.”

John blinked. It was a beat before he could say, “Right. Uh…” Mycroft was already heading down the stairs and out the door.

John turned back to Sherlock. Sherlock wore his innocent face. John said, “His tongue and lips were blue.”

Sherlock burst out giggling.

“Methylene blue?” John asked. He raised his eyebrows.

Sherlock nodded. John held his countenance for a beat and then started giggling as well. “It’s not funny. You can’t go around dosing people with chemicals. What if he was on medication or had a reaction?”

“He isn’t and he won’t.”

“He’s an important government official.”

Sherlock nodded. “Very important. He’s off to meet the prime minister.”

John held Sherlock’s gaze for a moment in sheer horror at the scene playing out in his mind. Then they both burst out laughing. They fell onto the sofa and laughed until John’s sides hurt. Each time they started to quiet down, they caught each other’s glance and started again.

Finally, John, between trying to catch his breath, said, “It was meant for me.”

“My favourite suit is at the dry cleaners. I had to say I was holding a child on my lap.”

John smirked. Then he fought for control of his face, working to wipe the smile off of it. No good. He said, “How long do you think until someone dares to tell him he’s blue?”

Sherlock’s phone rang. He glanced at it. “Apparently, ten minutes. Probably the prime minister.”

Sherlock looked at John. This set them both off giggling again.

“He’s going to pee blue for days,” Sherlock offered.

Trying to catch his breath, John said, “I suppose we’d better call a truce before innocent people are hurt.”

“My brother is hardly innocent.”

“Okay, call it collateral damage. Imagine if it had been Mrs. Hudson.”

Sherlock stared out as if contemplating the outcome. Quietly, he replied, “Agreed.”

### End ###




Facebook Twitter Email

7 thoughts on “And There There’s the Jelly on His Doorknob

    1. Watson Post author

      Aw, you guessed. Yes, the Blue Moon did have some influence because, let’s face it, the chases of anyone getting the drop on Mycroft is…[wait for it]…once in a blue moon. 😉

  1. Anne Zanoni


    Ah, John and Sherlock. =love=

    Did I remember to tell you about the bouncy balls? It’s from 23-June or 22-June on Twitter… 😀 Somewhere in my Favorites for that day.

    “How–? That’s not the point!”

    Of course it’s the point, John. Didn’t you get the memo? Ah… Well, it’s hardly my fault you weren’t listening.


    1. Watson Post author

      Sorry. Tried to find Bouncy Balls. Found conversation with different Watson about throwing rubber balls out a window. Will spare you my social media rant (although my description of what a ==good== social media site would be has gotten general agreement; certainly one thing would be the ability to search a particular person’s posts).

      Have gone in and fixed the typos I found (this time).

      Yes, poor John, does have a single focus on his mind when he’s out on a date. This, alas, is part of his problem in developing a more permanent relationship. But then again all of the rest of his relationship focus is on meeting Sherlock’s demands du jour so I guess it’s understandable. (and that’s another fanfic waiting in the wings).

  2. Anne Zanoni

    That’s the bit about the bouncy balls, yes. I knew I should’ve kept a thread to that whole Twitter conversation.

    I’m not sure if it’s more funny or frightening — or both! — that I knew what Sherlock would do with the damned things.

    Still makes me smile every time. Luckily I’ve never upset roomies ever, not that would go into this sort of payback. I must be far less obnoxious than I fear; or they’re all less creatively inclined in such directions!

  3. Anne Zanoni

    It occurs to me that luckily Mrs Hudson knows not to drink Sherlock’s coffee. At least one hopes she knows better than to touch anything he’s said to have concocted as a source of food or drink!

    Certainly *I* would know. “It’s an experiment!”

    Yes, Sherlock, that’s where I always keep… no, really, I wouldn’t perform an experiment in the microwave unless (a) someone else was going to clean the thing, (b) I never wanted to eat in 221B again, or at least nothing that exited that microwave, (c) Hazmat was en route, (d) oh God, the choices really _are_ endless with Sherlock, aren’t they?

    1. Watson Post author

      And consider that kinds of things Sherlock has access to in a teaching hospital! Methylene blue is the least of it (although I can speak from personal experience that it isn’t funny if the person has an allergic or medication-conflict reaction to it).

      Fortunately, it’s been a theme throughout the show that Sherlock doesn’t even shop, let alone cook. He doesn’t even get his own coffee or tea (“Just tea for me.”) I thought Moriarty was extremely brave to drink Sherlock’s tea (although if *I’d* been Sherlock the tea would most definitely had a little something in it that would allow me to track Moriarty’s movements. Silly, Sherlock, that’s what nano-particles are for!).

      I’d guess I’d better do some more Sherlock and John silliness soon. Folks seem to like it.

Comments are closed.