Characters: Alec, Molly, John, Sherlock
Warnings/Triggers: swearing, a bit of blood, mad science, medical humour, innuendo
Spoilers: Oblique ones for The Reichenbach Fall
Word Count 2,646
Summary: Alec's flat is invaded by a mad detective and his doctor.
Author's notes: We may be reaching the point in time where all my stories get finished at once. My apologies.
I wanted to give Alec the opportunity to interact with some of the main characters. Set post-Settling for the Best, but before Alec would have got to know John and Sherlock very well.
Someone was pounding on the door in Alec's dream, and when he woke up with a jolt, he found that someone was pounding on the door in real life. He thought. Maybe he was still dreaming.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Okay, probably not dreaming.
He unwrapped himself from around Molly, who had turned around in her sleep so that she had her face in his chest, and lifted himself up on his elbow to look at the time. 12:43AM. Not really an appropriate hour for company.
“S'happening?” Molly asked, sleepily.
“Someone's at the door,” Alec said.
“S'not good,” Molly said.
“There's students above us, they're probably just too pissed to find the right flat,” Alec said. He threw the covers off of himself, and got out of bed, searching around for his trousers. His and Molly's clothes had been rather enthusiastically discarded when they went to bed, and they were strewn around the room. Molly flicked on the light and Alec winced and squinted, finally managing to find some trousers and pull them on.
He stumbled out to the living room, and over to the door, pressing his eye to the peephole. There was a man on the other side, glaring so forcibly at the peephole that for a moment Alec thought he could see right through the door to the other side. It wasn't a student. He was familiar.
What the fuck?
Alec unlocked the door, and pulled off the chain. He opened it just as Sherlock raised his fist to pound again. He dropped his hand.
“What took you so long?” he demanded.
“I was asleep,” Alec said, stupidly.
“I need to come in,” Sherlock announced. “Now.”
“We would really appreciate it,” added another voice. John Watson leaned over so that he was visible in the door frame, and smiled.
Alec stepped back and let them through, too confused to think of an objection. Sherlock pushed past and John went through with an apologetic nod. Alec looked out in the corridor to make sure no one else was coming, and then closed the door again.
“No offence, but how do you know where I live?” Alec asked.
“We looked up your address,” John explained. “We needed a bit of a safe haven and you were the closest.”
“But...how did you know to look for my address?” Alec pressed. “If you didn't know it, why would you think I was close by?”
“I knew the general area by the change in Molly's habits when she's spent the night here,” Sherlock said. “She buys her coffee in a different location and comes in on a different bus. I could deduce what part of the city you were in from there.”
“Oh,” Alec said.
Molly came out of his bedroom, wrapped up in his dressing gown, with the sleeves pushed up on her arms. He was relieved to see her as he assumed she would have a better idea of what was going on.
“Sherlock? What's going on?”
Well, maybe not.
“Oh, good, you're up. I may need your help,” Sherlock said. “Bit of trouble, we need to regroup. I'm using your computer.”
“It's Alec's computer,” Molly said.
Sherlock looked to Alec. “I'm using your computer.”
He sat down at the desk and shook the mouse to wake it up.
“Do you need the password?” Alec asked.
“No,” Sherlock said. He typed confidently and pressed enter. The computer rejected his attempt. He tried again. He was rejected again. He tried a third time. “I need your password.”
“5, small e, Capital P, small y, small p, capital H, capital B, small z,” Alec said.
“What's the significance of that?” Sherlock demanded.
“Nothing, it's randomly generated,” Alec said.
Sherlock looked somewhere between approving and annoyed. “Sensible,” he muttered.
“Are you okay, John?” Molly asked.
“I'm fine,” John said.
“It's just, you're bleeding on the floor,” Molly said.
John looked down at his leg. “Fuck,” he said. “It must have opened up again.” He lifted up his trouser leg and revealed a deep gash running down the back of his calf. “It got caught on a fence, after someone decided to stop holding it before I got all the way under.”
“You have short legs, I assumed you'd cleared it,” Sherlock said, unapologetic.
“Do you have a First Aid kit?” Molly asked Alec.
“Just plasters,” Alec said.
“Maybe you could run out and get some proper things?” Molly suggested.
Alec felt this was certainly a task he could accomplish, and he was grateful to have it. He felt very confused. He went to get dressed. Molly followed him back to his room.
“Will you be okay here?” he asked.
“Oh, yes,” Molly said, cheerfully. “I'll just try to sort out what's going on. I'm sorry about this. He doesn't understand about boundaries very much, and it must be serious for John to let him bother you.”
“I just don't want to leave you here if it's dangerous,” Alec said.
“Sherlock won't let anything happen to me,” she said, with absolute confidence.
Alec decided not to be jealous, and mostly succeeded. He stripped back down and found his pants, and put his trousers back on. Molly had his phone out and was programming an address into it.
“I know where ASDA is,” he objected.
“Is it left or right?” Molly asked, sceptically.
“Left,” Alec said.
“Right,” she said, with a giggle.
“Well, it's left if you're facing the front...of the...building...” he said, slowing down as he lost his confidence. “Yeah, okay. Give me the phone.”
Alec was given a list of what was needed, including a few things Sherlock wanted. He found ASDA with little trouble, though when he arrived at the till with a basket full of First Aid supplies at one in the morning, he had to resist the urge to yell that he wasn't harbouring a fugitive with a gunshot wound or anything.
“Bit of an accident,” he explained, at the girl's rather questioning look.
There was something happening in his kitchen when he got back, and he was afraid to ask what. A lot of dishes had been spread out, and varying ingredients from around the flat. Molly had her hair back in her 'serious ponytail', and had her serious face on. She listened intently to Sherlock as he barked orders at her.
“Is he always like this?” Alec asked John.
“Not always,” John said. “Maybe...90% of the time? He's had a lot of caffeine. I haven't figured out how to deny him access to it when I don't live with him any more. Plus, you know, we're sort of in a hurry. I promise to replace anything he—.”
“I'm using your Epi-pen!” Sherlock called.
“Sherlock, John was speaking to me, you should wait your turn,” Alec said, reflexively.
There was dead silence in the room, broken by John's muffled snort of laughter.
“Did you just scold me?” Sherlock asked.
“Erm, yes, sorry,” Alec said, flushing. “Force of habit. I work with children. Go ahead. Use what you need to. Here, John, is this good to patch you up?”
John sat down on the coffee table with the supplies. Alec went to the loo and got a wet cloth for him to wipe away some of the blood.
“What are you allergic to?” John asked, when he returned. “Don't let him use it if you might need it.”
“It's not for me, my godson has soy allergies, his dads asked me to keep one here for when he visits,” Alec said. “I haven't had to use it yet, thankfully.”
John's eyes widened suddenly, and he turned to call over his shoulder. “Sherlock, you aren't giving yourself adrenaline are you?”
“No,” Sherlock called back.
“Are you giving Molly adrenaline?” Alec asked.
“No,” Sherlock said. “No one is getting adrenaline; I need the injector mechanism.”
Both Alec and John relaxed. Molly gave Alec an apologetic smile from the kitchen. He smiled back to reassure her. John went to work on his leg.
“Did I get the right things for you?” Alec asked.
“Yeah, I'll pinch it closed, and slap some butterfly stitches on there,” John said. “It'll be fine.”
“Should you get a tetanus jab?” Alec wondered, wincing a little at the sight of the jagged wound. He wasn't very squeamish, but that looked pretty grim.
“I had a booster a few months ago, it'll still be working,” John said. “I like to save A&E trips for the big stuff. I think they've got me down as Munchhausen by now, or some sort of UBI-prone idiot.”
“UBI?” Alec asked.
“Unexplained Beer Injury,” John said. “That's what you chart when drunks come in with injuries they won't explain.”
“Nice,” Alec said, with a laugh. “Sounds like an exciting life.”
“Yeah,” John said. “It can be.”
“And is this what Molly normally does for you?” Alec asked.
“Sort of,” John said. “She's usually at the lab. But we needed to get off the street. Sorry about barging in on you. We needed to lose a tail, and time is of the essence with this one, a bit, so we needed somewhere closer than 221B to reorganize. It's a case for Sherlock's brother, which always means doom and gloom if it doesn't get solved.”
“Sherlock has a brother?” Alec said. “Is he a detective, too?”
John snorted. “No, he's a prat,” he said. “Professionally.”
Alec didn't pry further, sensing it was not his business. John got the steri-strips on his leg, and it didn't bleed any further. Alec wiped up the little trail of blood drops John had left before someone slipped on it. First rule of the classroom—if someone can hurt themselves on it, they will.
“Do you have crabs?” John asked. He snorted a laugh. “Sorry, not the best way to word that.” He pointed to the terrarium. “Are those hermit crabs?”
“Oh, yeah,” Alec said. “I've had them since I was a teenager. My step-mum thought I should have company at uni, but nothing that I could easily kill. They live for ages.”
“Did Gambit choose a new shell, yet?” Molly called.
“No, he's still carrying around his old one,” Alec said. “He must not be sure about the one he's trying on.”
“Poor thing, he's so indecisive,” Molly said.
“Why are we talking about crabs?” Sherlock demanded. “This has absolutely no relation to the matter at hand. Actually, get me their food, it might useful.”
Alec grabbed the tin of crab food beside the terrarium and brought it over to him. He waited for a thank you, but received none.
“How many are there?” John asked.
“Four,” Alec said. “Storm's moulting, she's buried in the corner there. And then Gambit's the one carrying around the shell, and the other two are Nightcrawler and Mystique.”
“Huh,” John said, watching them scurry around. “Marvel fan?”
“Yeah,” Alec admitted. “It didn't seem as nerdy when I was seventeen. I thought I'd better stick with the theme as more of them came in and left.”
“We were DC fans at our house,” John said.
“Well, I suppose we're mortal enemies, then,” Alec said.
“Superman could kick Wolverine's arse,” John said, with a smirk.
“Wolverine can regenerate,” Alec argued. “And Superman is allergic to kryptonite.”
Sherlock made a pained sound, and John and Alec laughed.
Alec wasn't sure what to do to be useful. He was a bit lost amongst people who were obviously used to this as an everyday thing. He supposed he had the option of going to bed and hiding, but he wasn't very keen on leaving Molly alone in the kitchen with a man currently taking apart an Epi-pen with a steak knife.
“Does anyone want something to eat?” he asked, because that was how all problems were resolved in the Thornton family.
Sherlock barked a firm no, but both John and Molly were unconvincing in their refusals. Alec slipped into the kitchen and grabbed a few things, taking them out to the work surface overhang that went into the living room, which served as his kitchen table.
Sherlock stopped his work briefly to watch him slice up some cheese. “Which parent is the chef?” he asked.
“My dad,” Alec said. “He and my step-mum own a restaurant in—”
“How fascinating,” Sherlock said.
Alec found himself laughing at how very blatantly bored Sherlock was. He sounded like his Third Years complaining about maths. In fact, he decided, Sherlock reminded him of his Third Years in general. Twitchy, hyperactive, easily bored, still learning their social skills, full of questions. A big, grown-up Third Year.
Which made it very hard to resist scolding him about the way he spoke to Molly. She didn't speak up for herself, just quietly went about what he'd asked her to do. Alec knew she wasn't good at asserting herself, and it wasn't his place to step in on her behalf. But Sherlock was a friend, evidently. He owed her his life. Surely he could use please and thank you?
After a bit of watching, however, Alec realized that Sherlock respected her, even if he was an arse about it. If she told him a result, he didn't question or double check. He took her at her word, which Alec suspected wasn't something he'd do for everyone.
“Oh! Thank you!” Molly said, when Alec brought in a sandwich for her. “That's very sweet.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek and Sherlock sighed and twitched.
“Do you need the loo?” Alec asked. “That's what my kids do.”
“No,” Sherlock said, coldly.
“Then work quietly, please,” Alec said. “You're disturbing others.”
Molly clapped a hand over her mouth while she giggled. Sherlock gave Alec a glare that made the roots of his hair feel too tight. He went out of the kitchen again to give a sandwich to John, who had moved to the computer.
“Thanks, mate,” John said. He opened his mouth to take a bite—
“Stop eating!” Sherlock yelled. “If you're going to eat, make the boyfriend do your job. Put him to work at something useful. Does he have to be here?”
“This is his flat, Sherlock,” Molly pointed out.
“Yes, fine,” Sherlock grumbled.
Alec slid into John's vacated chair, following directions about what he was looking for. Addresses, mostly, and names of employees at a big corporation.
“Just so you know, it's probably best if you don't share this with anyone,” John said, around a mouthful of sandwich, which he ate like he hadn't eaten in days. “It's a bit need to know.”
“Okay, fair enough,” Alec said.
“And if anyone from the government drops by...” John added. “Well, hopefully they won't.”
“...okay,” Alec said.
He was surprised at how quickly he settled in to being a pseudo-detective. Sherlock gave him a few mundane tasks to do, putting to use his chopping skills, organizing a sheaf of papers, and looking up information for him on the Internet while John pored over photos on his phone. Molly made luminol in his kitchen, with luminol powder that Sherlock either carried around with him or had bought for purpose (Alec never had the chance to ask), and once that was done, it was sprayed on evidence, and that evidence was discussed, and then John and Sherlock were ready to go.
“Thanks for this,” John asked, as Sherlock threw his coat on and stood impatiently by the door. “Make a list, we'll replace everything. We'll try really hard not to come back here again without being invited. And thanks, Molls.”
“No worries,” Molly said, brightly. “I'm happy to help. Good luck!”
“We have to go,” Sherlock said.
“Yeah, okay,” John said. “See you.”
They left and the flat suddenly seemed very quiet. Molly and Alec looked at the mess in the kitchen, and then looked at each other.
“We'll fix it in the morning,” Molly said.
“Agreed,” Alec said. He looked at the clock. “I have to be up for school in a few hours. We better get back to bed.”
“I'm really sorry about this,” Molly said. “But you were great!” She stood on her tip-toes to kiss him, and rubbed at his temples, which was something he found very relaxing. He found Molly herself very relaxing, actually. Things were very still with her. Normally, at least. “I love you for putting up with that.”
“I am in awe that you always put up with that,” Alec replied. “And I love you, too.”
She flushed, as she always did when he said he loved her, as though it were a surprise each time. She pressed another kiss to his lips. “Mmm. How long before school?” she asked.
Alec grinned. “Ages,” he said. “We can definitely hold off on the sleeping part of going to bed for a while.”
Molly giggled and took his hand. “C'mon then, Detective Thornton. Time for bed.”