Characters: John, Sherlock
Word Count 572
Summary: John accidentally discovers that Sherlock has a surprisingly human hobby.
Author's notes: Moving some comment fic up to my main journal. This was written for a prompt from the lovely guardian_chaos.
In retrospect, John probably should have noticed the bottle cap thing sooner. In his defence, Sherlock was weird. He had enough idiosyncrasies to fill up a whole book on the subject, and it was hard to keep track of all his habits.
John had noticed he had a tendency to play with bottle caps, but he had a tendency to play with anything he could get his hands on. On occasion, he noticed Sherlock pocketing bottle caps, but John chalked that up to the 'I have touched it, and therefore it is now mine' mentality Sherlock used with most objects.
It wasn't until John was attacked by an avalanche of bottle caps before he understood the full extent of the situation.
Sherlock had sent him into his bedroom to get something from his closet. John had to stand on his tip-toes and overbalanced, knocking a large wooden box off the shelf. He managed to catch the box, but the lid flipped open, and suddenly, hundreds of bottle caps were cascading over his head and sounding like hail as they bounced on the wooden floor.
John reacted as though he was in a cartoon, carefully putting the box on the bed and backing away from the closet as though he could distance himself from the mess.
It didn't work.
“What—?!” Sherlock sputtered, as he entered the room to see the bottle caps everywhere. His eyes narrowed at John. “I did not ask you touch that.”
John held up his hands in peace. “It was an accident,” he protested. “I'm sorry.”
He started clean-up the mess, returning the caps to the box. Sherlock joined him, working in stony silence. He snatched most of them away from John's hands if they were working in the same area. It took them several minutes to find them all and get them safely home. Sherlock's jaw was set hard, but John couldn't resist any longer.
“So,” he said, conversationally. “What's with the bottle caps?”
Sherlock glared at him. “Obviously I collect them,” he snapped.
“Yeah, I figured,” John said. “Why?”
“Collecting is a hunter-gatherer instinct,” Sherlock said. “It's not uncommon for people to collect things.”
“Yeah, but why bottle caps?” John pressed.
“They're easy to find,” Sherlock replied, tersely.
John raised an eyebrow. “Really? That's all you're going to give me?” he said. “You have at least two hundred here, Sherlock. There must be more to it than their availability.”
Sherlock hesitated, a mixture of fury and embarrassment on his face. John tried to appear open and worthy of confidences.
“My father collected them,” Sherlock said, eventually. “I don't know why. After he died, I found them in a drawer in his desk in the library. I took ownership of the collection and have added to it. That's all. Now, get what I sent you for, and stop touching my things.”
He spun on his heel, leaving a stunned John alone in the room.
“Huh,” he said to himself.
He got what he needed and went back to the kitchen, handing it over to Sherlock. Then he went to the living room and retrieved the cap from his beer on the table.
“Head's up,” he called, tossing it over.
Sherlock caught it without looking, then examined it. He looked over to John, judging whether he was being teased or not. John shrugged. Sherlock smiled slightly and stuck the bottle cap in his pocket.