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By Proxy

Title: By Proxy
Author: ciaranbochna 
Sherlock/John (pre-slash, who am I kidding?)
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world.
Length: words 2067
Rating:  PG
Warnings: Crack, slightly fluffy
A/N: Dedicated to my lovely friend sandrinnad , who deserves to have all her burdens lifted away. The best I could do was write some crack with a helping of fluff (proof I don't always write dark/angst..lol). I hope she, and any of you who read it enjoy;)



John is smearing honey on his toast one morning when he notices the green spot on his jumper cuff. He rubs at it, and then scrubs it with the Fairy liquid, but it doesn’t fade. It’s his favourite Aran jumper; worn around the bottom edge of Celtic knot work, but perfectly broken in.

He can’t prove it, but he is sure Sherlock is responsible. John sighs and rolls up the cuff so no one will notice. It isn’t as if people compliment him on his fashion sense anyway.

John is pulling the jumper on a week later and frowns at the spot on the cuff. It’s twice the size it was before, and a deeper green—almost a palm leaf colour. John rolls the cuff up again and wishes he bought jumpers in vibrant colours rather than neutral, then no one would notice a spot. He’ll ask Sherlock what molds he has been fiddling with and what exactly that has to do with John’s clothes.

The next day John is dragging himself through the door after a hellish day of flu season at the clinic, and he notices a pile of tube tickets on his chair as he tries to collapse into it.

“If I dump all my shite in his room he would throw a fit, but my space is fair game. Tosser.” John growls. He grabs a handful of tickets and almost drops them in shock. They are warm and soft, like a newborn’s skin. They cling to his hand as John tries to shake them onto the table.

“I don’t even want to know where those have been.” He mutters in disgust, trudging upstairs to his room. He’s not sure he has the energy to scream at Sherlock, even if he walked through the door this instant.

John opens his dresser drawer and grabs the marred Aran jumper. Or he tries to, but it won’t leave the drawer.

“I will kill him if he's dissolved it.” John yanks as hard as he can and the jumper comes away with a faint pop. There is a tendril of ivy growing from the spot on his cuff. More ivy curls into the corner of the drawer, and the broken end on the jumper vibrates faintly, like it is trying to reach the other half.

“Oh that’s it.” John pulls out his phone and dials Sherlock. Of course the impossible prat doesn’t answer.

“When you get this you WILL come home. And I mean NOW Sherlock, not when you are done tormenting the yard!” John jabs his finger to end the call, almost dropping his mobile in fury.

The ivy piece on his jumper has wrapped itself around John’s hand during the call. He flings the jumper on the bedroom floor and glares at it.

“I am not bloody food for a mutant plant.” John leans down and takes the jumper lightly by the opposite arm, holding it away from him as he walks back downstairs. He drops it in Sherlock’s chair and makes himself tea while he fumes.

John opens the sugar bowl and closes his eyes in disgust. “No.”

Yes, there’s a tree shoot growing in the sugar container. John figures it is an oak, judging by the tiny leaf it has sprouted.

“I’m living with a mutant and his pets.” He mutters. John opens the fridge slowly to look for the milk. The container is intact, but covered in a flyer for an antiquarian book shop.

John grinds his teeth and opens the milk, sniffing it (fine) before he pours it into his cup. Sherlock will explain all of this. And god help him if he’s pompous.

John walks back into the sitting room. He stares at the African violet on the bookshelf next to the window. The plant sits next to a stack of books on quantum theory—a subject important enough to require a stack. The violet has variegated leaves; a pale cream stripe through the deep green. Its flowers are tri-coloured to match--red, purple and blue. John has never seen a plant quite like it. How it’s still alive is another mystery, since Sherlock never bothers to water it and John only remembers intermittently. He flops down into his chair.

That settles it then. Sherlock is practicing biological experimentation in their flat. It was a grave mistake to involve John’s favourite jumper. John can be very creative when angry. Some of his former mates in university could tell Sherlock stories. John had quite the reputation as a perfect student until his supposed mates pulled that prank.  All you had to do was watch their eyes as John passed in the hall to know they wouldn’t try it again.

John smiles. They never left decomposing liver in his room again after the little chat he gave them. His bland nature hides the depths so well. John presses his fingers into his eyes. There is a sudden pressure in his head. He doesn’t get migraines often, and he never has triggers so he knows when they’ll strike. If anyone could induce one it would be Sherlock.


John’s ears pop and his head clears slightly. He stands up and stalks over to Sherlock, leaving barely an inch of space between them.

Sherlock retreats before John’s expression until his back hits the doorframe.

John thinks that’s a start. “Explain what you have done to my jumper, the foliage in the sugar bowl, the shite on my chair, and why you covered the milk in advertising. If I don’t like your answer…” John feels himself go still as he stares at his flat mate.

Sherlock’s eyes narrow and he stops breathing for a moment. “We should sit for this John.”

John watches Sherlock’s expression for traces of superiority. There are none. Sherlock’s eyes look dark grey in the light from the hall. John backs up a step to let Sherlock pass, letting some of the tension in his body out with a breath.

John shuts the door and follows Sherlock to the couch, sitting down close to him.

Sherlock tenses, and then unwinds his scarf from his neck.

John smirks. Now who has personal space issues? Sherlock pulls John’s jumper from under his thigh and stares at the vine burrowed into the sleeve. The ivy has reached the elbow now, and is poking through the wool.

The plant reacts instantly to Sherlock as he reaches out. It curls around his hand and twines though his fingers, and starts creeping under the cuff of his coat.

“Sherlock, that thing might want blood, you’d better—“

“It’s fine John. It is content for now.” Sherlock’s raises his other hand over the vine, finger pointing down. A drop of water forms on the pad of his finger and lands on the vine in below.

John’s head feels compressed again, and his hair stands on head with the sudden humidity. He feels his face and his fingers come away wet, as if he has been walking in the fog.

John grabs Sherlock’s arm. He can feel the vine under Sherlock’s coat writhing. “We need to get you out of here; this is beyond your cracked theories. What the hell have you done to yourself?” John shakes Sherlock’s arm.

Sherlock touches John’s hand, placating. John glares in warning.

“Nothing, John. I usually have more control over myself than this. Perhaps there is something to the need for rest and food you keep going on about.”

John grips Sherlock’s arm tighter. The vine unfurls from Sherlock’s palm and crawls over John’s. Is it trying to defend Sherlock? This is insane.

“It isn’t coming to my aid John. They are just part of what I am. I’m sorry that they tampered with your jumper, and ruined the sugar and the milk carton. Oh and leaving the tickets in your chair as well.” Sherlock looks away. “You may want to check your closet I’m afraid.”

“You didn’t do this to yourself. So what are you--a nature child?”

Sherlock snorts and raises an eyebrow. “No need for labels. I have a name, I would appreciate it if you kept to that--it’s enough. What I can do is…a family trait.” Sherlock draws his finger down the ivy that has webbed John’s hand and it reluctantly returns to Sherlock’s arm.

John shakes his head. Reluctantly? He’s giving human traits to plants now. He can see a sprig of the greenery peeking from the collar of Sherlock’s coat; it matches the emerald colour of his eyes.

In for a penny in for a pound John thinks. “So. Mycroft?” He asks.

“You don’t think he carries that umbrella as an affectation do you? He has the occasional lapse of control as well. He’s insufferable, so he may just enjoy carrying the umbrella for appearance sake.” Sherlock grimaces.

“But what about the tube tickets and the flyer on the milk? What do those have to do with life and the elements? I don’t need to ask why you never water the violet now.” John looks over at the it. There are two more sets of flowers on it now.

“London, John. This is my home, and it doesn’t just consist of foliage does it? I also don’t need to consult a map. I just pretended to need one for your benefit” The corner of Sherlock’s lip twitches up as he stares at the tube tickets on the table. They curl up and skitter across the table to be closer to him.

John represses the slight urge to move away. Reminding himself this is Sherlock, by extension. “Fine. Why are your talents invading my clothes and my chair then? I really shouldn’t be surprised after seeing the rest of the flat, but I do have SOME boundaries.” John glares at Sherlock, who moves away slightly.

John realizes he is still holding Sherlock’s arm, and releases him. The vine is strangely quiet now.

Sherlock shrugs off his coat. The ivy has tiny white flowers along its length now, and it has encircled Sherlock’s neck like a choker. The end of the ivy is tickling Sherlock’s earlobe, but he doesn’t appear to care.

Something occurs to John. “The thunder I heard the other night. Everyone thought I was a nutter at work when I mentioned it.”

Sherlock moves into the corner of the sofa. “I was working something out. I did say lack of sleep may be a problem, but this many lapses in so short a time is unusual. I never had a problem with my former flat mates. Although their stay was shorter than yours.” Sherlock thrusts John’s jumper at him, now free of the vine.

You’re telling me that I should feel privileged that I cause you lose control over yourself? John hears a slight rumble and the room grows darker. “I don’t need another migraine Sherlock, haul it in would you?”

“I’m sorry John.” Sherlock gets up and moves to the window. “I will try harder to repress it.” Ivy unfurls from Sherlock’s neck and hangs down his chest.

“Oh for gods sake! Your plants sulk the same as you do.” John gets up and follows Sherlock. He grabs his arm, spinning him around. Sherlock’s eyes are grey again, and he looks at John as if waiting for another outburst.

Sherlock shreds though John’s anger like a blade through silk. A man who can dissect the world and remake it with his emotions—and he cares what an ordinary man like John thinks.

“I affect you enough that you are trying to claim me with your gift, even if that great brain hasn’t caught up yet. Does that sound about right?” John smiles slightly at Sherlock who violently shakes his head.

“I am doing nothing of the sort. This is just a minor—“The ivy lifts away from Sherlock’s chest and shoots towards John. It tickles John's collarbone.

“Are you really going to argue with the evidence Sherlock?” John grins and wraps his hand around the vine.

Sherlock blinks, opens his mouth and glares at the offending plant. “I need toast John.” Sherlock pulls away from John with a grumble.

John’s eyes ache and his ears pop, and the rumbling in the room stops. John lets Sherlock escape and walks toward the kitchen. He turns back and sees the vine waving at him over Sherlock’s shoulder.

Perhaps John should invest in his own umbrella.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
Ok, I know this is probably a one off, but I would so love it if you wrote some more. What an intreguing AU. I lol'd at Sherlocks plants betryaing his true feelings for John, very cute, I can see them being like puppys with John, and him growing quite fond of them.
May. 3rd, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you! I haven't completely gone off the idea of writing another one, since it turned out a little different that the original plot bunny I wrote down..lol
May. 2nd, 2011 03:12 am (UTC)
I second what sethra said. This is a very intriguing au, and one I should like to see continue.
Jenn, who has enough plants without her jumpers growing them for her...
May. 3rd, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I never know how anyone will react:) I may just have another story about this too. Plants just multiply don't they?
May. 3rd, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yes,yes they do. :)
May. 3rd, 2011 09:40 am (UTC)
Me third, it's just lovely
May. 3rd, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
*blushes* I am amazed that everyone thinks I should continue, thanks:)
May. 7th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
you, darlin', are far far too good to me :)

delightfully delighrful cracky crack :D

*smishes you*
May. 7th, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
No, just giving you what you need I hope;)

I am delighted you enjoyed it:)

Jun. 8th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
Oh goodness! This is like a fairy tale! I love it! I'm excited at the prospect that you might write more...
Jun. 9th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Awww thank you. It isn't as overboard in the faerietale department as another one I did on here (original)but err, thanks:)
Jun. 18th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
So um, this might be my favorite thing ever.

Just wanted you to know that.
Jun. 18th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
lol Well, I am thrilled you liked it so much:)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )