One day, Sherlock Holmes and Gladstone walked into Baker Street.
“John, this is Gladstone,” Sherlock announced, holding the leash of a dog and hovering in the doorway to the flat.
“Erm...” John stared at the dog, who was looking at John with interest, as though he may have an interesting treat for him.
“Why?” he managed, tearing his gaze away from Gladstone for a moment to glance at Sherlock.
But Sherlock was no longer listening, instead had begun down the hall to his bedroom, Gladstone trailing behind him.
“Sherlock!” he called. “Come back! We need to talk about this! Is Mrs Hudson alright with you having a dog in the flat?”
But his calls went unanswered and the door slammed behind him.
John sighed and resumed reading the paper.
Later that night, Sherlock and Gladstone emerged from his room for a proper introduction.
“John, this is Gladstone.”
John was rather unsure of what to do, so he just held his hand out for the dog to sniff, which it did before returning to Sherlock's side.
“Mrs Hudson is fine with her living here, as long as she doesn't make a mess.”
“Yes. Gladstone is a female.”
John thought about that for a minute. “Okay. But I'm not going to be the one to look after her, you got it? You take her for walks and feed her and make sure she'd entertained. Or I will have Mycroft come and take her away.”
Sherlock scowled at the mention of his brother, and one last thing dawned on John.
“And absolutely no experiments. None. Zero. Got it?”
Sherlock looked at him in disbelief, as though the thought had never crossed his mind.
“John,” he gasped. “I would never.”
John shrugged. “As long as that's all settled.” He gave Gladstone a pat on the head and resumed sorting through the stack of papers that Sherlock had accumulated over the past month.
“Don't get rid of any of those,” Sherlock warned.
John sighed. “I can sort them and stick them in your room,” he pointed out. “There's no need for them to be cluttering up the living room.”
Sherlock humphed and grabbed John's laptop, flopping on the couch.
John watched as Gladstone trailed behind Sherlock and looked at him expectantly before he nodded and she hopped up on the couch with him.
John shook his head and sighed. But really, this was nothing.
The first time Sherlock took Gladstone to a crime scene was interesting to say the least. It seemed like Sherlock waited until it was one where Anderson was on forensics, just to annoy him.
“Sherlock, you can't have a dog at a crime scene,” Lestrade protested as Anderson and Sally both glared at him.
“Don't worry, she's very well behaved,” Sherlock replied, stepping carefully over to the body, Gladstone trailing at his heels.
Lestrade glanced at John, who only shrugged.
“She?” Sally asked. “You named her Gladstone?”
“Problem Sally?” Sherlock said, not looking up from his crouched position next to the body.
“The poor dog's name,” Sally retorted, looking at them both with a look of mild disgust, as though Gladstone's name was personally offending her.
Sherlock ignored her and soon spouted off a list of deductions, instructing Lestrade who to look for, and where to find them. John added his usual 'amazing!' when he was finished, Sherlock grinned at him, and Gladstone took this opportunity to paw at Sherlock's leg, whining anxiously.
Anderson snorted. “Right, well behaved.”
Sherlock ignored him and patted Gladstone on the head. “Yes, we'll go home,” he assured her. “John, how far are we from the flat?”
John was a little startled to be spoken to and took a second to respond. “Erm.. twenty minutes, give or take.”
Sherlock nodded, straightening up. “Let's go.”
Gladstone seemed relieved to be leaving and was quiet on the cab ride home.
Back at the flat, Sherlock took Gladstone into his room and gave John instructions not to enter under any circumstances, that he would be working with her.
John shrugged, made tea, and sat down to type out a new blog post about the newest addition at 221b Baker street.
Sherlock emerged twenty minutes later looking dishevelled and exhausted.
“Alright?” John asked, looking at him anxiously.
Sherlock nodded and poured himself a glass of orange juice, throwing himself down on the couch with it and smiling as Gladstone hopped up on the couch to sleep next to him.
“Did it go well?”
“The training or whatever.”
“Oh, yes. Fine,” Sherlock replied distractedly, sipping on his juice and petting Gladstone absentmindedly.
He stayed there for the rest of the day, supposedly thinking, although John suspected he fell asleep at one point, if not more.
John went about his day, published a blog post, and woke Sherlock up for some dinner, which as expected, he picked at.
“We're going out today,”Sherlock announced one morning.
John glanced at Gladstone, ever present at his feet. “All of us?”
“Of course all of us,” he said impatiently. “Be ready to leave in half an hour.”
John was amused that Sherlock said this to him, sitting in his chair with a cup of tea, already showered and dressed, while Sherlock was still in his dressing gown. But he nodded.
“John!” Sherlock called from his bedroom.
John sighed before giving in and heading there, only to find Sherlock sticking out of his closet, piles of fabric scattered around his feet.
“What are you doing?” he asked with a sigh, knowing that this was hardly unusual.
“Looking for Gladstone's vest.”
“Her vest,” John parroted.
“Yes John, no need to repeat what I say.”
“We're going out... and Gladstone is going to wear a vest.”
Sherlock's sigh was muffled inside the closet, but John heard it all the same.
“Yes John. I am. Got it!” he called triumphantly, emerging from the closet, hair ruffled with a green vest in his hand.
He threw it to John. “Go put it on her,” he demanded. “I have something else to do.” With that he practically shoved John out of the room and slammed the door on him.
John sighed, and turned to find Gladstone sitting practically at his feet, wagging her tail rapidly. John unscrunched the vest and examined it to see what poor Gladstone was going to have to wear.
He frowned when he realized what it was.
“Sherlock!” he called through the door. “Where did you get this? Don't tell me you stole it.”
“Just put it on!” he called back, a clattering noise following. John winced, but did as he said, slipping the vest on Gladstone and doing it up.
She was very good about the whole thing, and when John straightened up, she still sat there wagging her tail at him.
John softened a little.
“Just one,” he whispered to her, looking around as though Sherlock had magically appeared next to him. He stretched up to the top of the fridge and pulled down the treats that were now kept up there.
“Don't tell Sherlock,” he whispered to her as he dropped the treat in front of her feet and she gobbled it up, looking at him expectantly for more.
“I said one,” he told her, staring her down. She relented and padded off to Sherlock's door, hovering outside it as if hurrying him along.
Sherlock emerged not a minute later, his hair considerably flatter and tamed.
“Let's go,” he said, bending down to clip her leash on and frowning as he straightened up. “John, you know full well you're not supposed to give her treats.”
John shrugged. “Sorry. So where are we going?”
“Out,” Sherlock declared, already dashing down the stairs, Gladstone following eagerly behind him.
John sighed and managed to catch up before the cab left.
“Where are we going?” John asked, sitting in the cab, Gladstone perched in between them, looking rather nice in her new, although wrinkled, green vest.
“Going? Oh, to the library.”
“The library?” John repeated.
Sherlock frowned and looked at John. “Are you broken? Yes, I just said the library. We are going to do some research that I wasn't able to do online.”
“So why did I have to come?” John protested.
Sherlock snorted. “Because I'm not doing all of it on my own.”
John scowled. “Well what about Gladstone?”
“What about her?”
John sighed. “Animals aren't allowed in the library Sherlock.”
“Service animals are,” Sherlock noted, typing on his phone. “See the vest? You were the one to put it on her, remember?”
John frowned. “Where did you get that from anyway?”
“It came with her. I didn't steal it, because that was going to be your next question.”
John had opened his mouth to ask why Gladstone had come with a vest, but was interrupted by Sherlock opening his door and hopping out. Apparently they were there. How convenient.
Gladstone trailed behind Sherlock as he stepped purposefully towards the library, leaving John to pay for the cab.
He jogged to catch up. He wanted to see Sherlock bringing the dog in.
Sure enough, the librarian at the entrance tried to stop him.
“Sir, animals aren't allowed int eh library.”
Sherlock sighed, as though annoyed by her stupidity. “It's a service dog, see her vest?”
The librarian looked closer. “So she is. What for, may I ask?”
“She's a seeing eye dog,” Sherlock replied, tugging Gladstone's leash away from the irksome woman.
“Oh,” she said, at a loss for words. “Would you like me to direct you towards the Braille books?”
Sherlock smiled at her (actually smiled, John noted in shock) and shook his head. “No, my friend here will be reading them to me. Thank you!” he called over his shoulder, beckoning John to follow him.
Gladstone led the way until they were out of sight of the librarian, at which point Sherlock let her fall into step beside him.
“What was that?” John hissed, glaring at Sherlock. “You're not blind.”
“What a cleverly astute observation John. I'm impressed.”
“So why did you tell her you were?”
“Less questions that way; seeing eye dogs are well known. Dogs of Gladstone's type are not.”
“And what type would that be?”
Sherlock ignored him, stopping abruptly. “No time for idle chit chat, we have research to do!”
John sighed, digging into the first of many dusty old volumes that Sherlock piled in front of him.
It was a long day, only ending when Gladstone began whining.
Sherlock napped on the couch again that evening. John would have been suspicious had he not been so relieved.
Gladstone accompanied them everywhere in the next couple of weeks with her vest on, her moods dictating more than once when they would return home, regardless of what they were doing at the time. John was baffled by the great Sherlock Holmes listening to a dog and obeying her whims rather than doing what he wanted, like chasing around after criminals and stealing evidence.
John didn't mind it, because it ensure he got some sleep, usually about once a week.
Gladstone rounded out a bit, although both Sherlock and John denied giving her treats. (It turned out Mrs Hudson had a soft spot for her as well.)
Lestrade called them to a scene one day, a body that had been found entirely lacking in blood. Sherlock was absolutely fascinated with the scene, and didn't seem to notice Gladstone pawing at him.
John watched with mild alarm as she became more and more anxious, even going so far as to growl at Sherlock, which finally got his attention.
“Oh what is it Gladstone?” he asked exasperatedly. She pawed at him again and whined, and Sherlock seemed to pale slightly.
John shook his head. Must be a trick of the light, he told himself.
“John how long has Gladstone been upset?” Sherlock asked quietly.
John shrugged. “Umm... I'm not sure, maybe ten minutes? You were so deep in thought you didn't really notice.”
He nodded distractedly, as though he was focused on something else entirely. “And how are we from home?”
John looked confused. “Twenty, twenty-five minutes or so. Why?”
Sherlock groaned quietly. “How dull,” he muttered.
“What? What is Sherlock?” he said, trailing after the detective as he neared Lestrade, Gladstone on his heels, still making anxious noises. “What's dull?”
Sherlock ignored him, choosing to speak to Lestrade instead.
“I require the use of your car,” he said quietly.
Lestrade glanced at Sherlock, down to Gladstone, back up at Sherlock, and nodded.
“Keys,” he said, dangling a set in front of Sherlock, who grabbed them. “Take John with you though.”
Sherlock paused, frozen for a second.
Lestrade groaned. “Really Sherlock? For this long?” He shook his head and sighed. “Well, now's as good as it's going to get.” He pushed Sherlock gently in the direction of his car, providing a reminder that he should be doing something, and not simply glaring at the detective inspector for something that wasn't his fault.
Sherlock practically glowered as he stalked off to Lestrade's car, Gladstone bouncing along behind him. It seemed that she knew what was going on more than John did. Unfair, he thought.
Sherlock slid in the backseat of Lestrade's car, thankful that he had brought his personal car that day rather than the unmarked police cruiser he so often drove. Gladstone hopped in beside him and with a sigh, Sherlock motioned for John to slide in too.
“Shut the door,” he said bitterly, glancing at his watch.
“Sherlock, what's going on?” John asked, glancing at the detective with a worried expression. Gladstone was perched between them on the seat, and seemed rather protective, her tail wagging faster if John got too close. Sherlock did not reply, but patted Gladstone on the head and hushed her.
“Are you not feeling well?” John asked. “Talk to me Sherlock, please,” he pleaded.
Sherlock seemed intent on ignoring him and closed his eyes. John slid down in the seat, feeling entirely discouraged.
It was then that Sherlock stiffened, attempting to stretch out despite the limited space. Gladstone watched the man closely, John torn between watching them both.
He finally settled on watching Sherlock when the man began to jerk, thrusting his legs and arms in an unnatural motion.
Seizure, John's doctorly mind told him. The part of his mind that cared for Sherlock was more screaming at him, wanted him to panic and call out for help.
But Sherlock had known this was coming, and that meant it was not cause for too much concern.
John timed the seizure, growing more anxious as every second passed, all the while trying to reassure himself that it was going to be alright.
It lasted 3 minutes and 47 seconds before Sherlock's limbs stopped thrashing about and he slumped into the seat.
It was another seven minutes before Sherlock stirred (typical of him to do things on an accelerated time line, John figured) and began to awaken from the postictal state.
At the ten minute mark, Sherlock opened his eyes and stared blankly at John, blinking several times as though it would clear his confusion.
“Sherlock,” John said gently, “Are you alright?”
Sherlock blinked again and pondered that question.
“Thirsty,” he decided. “Need juice.”
John faltered. “I don't have any juice. I'm sure Lestrade could give us a ride home so we could get juice but-”
Sherlock perked up at the mention of Lestrade and interrupted. “Lestrade?”
“Yeah, we're in his car.”
“Check the... box,” Sherlock said, waving a hand vaguely in the direction of the glove compartment.
Sighing, John practically crawled over Sherlock and Gladstone to reach the front seat, and the glove compartment. Sure enough, there was a couple of juice boxes in there. Orange.
John shook his head. “Here,” he said, handing one to Sherlock. “I don't even want to know why they're there.”
Sherlock fumbled with the straw and wrapper for a minute before John took pity on him and punched the straw into the box for him. Sherlock took it without a word and sipped at it, smoothing down Gladstone with his other hand.
Ten minutes later, Sherlock deemed himself fine and ready to go back to work, despite having to fight his eyelids to stay open. Plus, John was sure he didn't remember what the crime even was. He was not going to allow that.
“Sherlock! You had a seizure! You need to go home and rest,” he protested when Sherlock tried to get up, rather unsuccessfully.
Sherlock shook his head. “Crime scene,” he pointed out.
“Can wait,” John said firmly.
Sherlock scowled at him, but they both knew he was in no state to fight John.
“Just drink your juice mister. I'll be right back.”
With that, John slid out of the car and headed back towards Lestrade, who was waiting for him. John felt a bit uneasy about the whole thing.
“Why didn't you tell me?” he hissed.
“Because it's Sherlock,” he said, shrugging. “He would have made my life miserable if I did, and I figured that it wouldn't take that long for you to notice, considering you live with him.”
John rubbed his head. “Well it did. This is the first time I've seen it.”
Lestrade looked at him and nodded.
“I'm going to take him home now. He's in no state to be running about the crime scene.”
Lestrade nodded. “Want me to drive you?” he offered.
John hesitated before nodding. “It would probably be best. That way I don't have to drag him out of the car and into a cab along with Gladstone. She's practically glued to him.”
Lestrade chuckled. “They do seem to be rather fond of each other, don't they?”
John slid into the front seat this time, glancing back at Sherlock to order him to put his seat belt on.
Sherlock glowered at him until Lestrade reaffirmed they would not be going anywhere until he did.
Twenty-five minutes later they arrived at the flat, Sherlock asleep in the backseat with Gladstone sitting on his lap, also fast asleep.
“I'm not carrying him,” John stated flatly.
“Well I'm definitely not,” Lestrade added.
John sighed before reaching out to shake Sherlock's shoulder.
“Come on, we're here. You can sleep upstairs.”
“I'm not tired,” Sherlock muttered, pulling away from John's touch.
“Right, how silly of me,” John noted, rolling his eyes. “Then you can not sleep. But upstairs. Get out of the car.”
Sherlock grumbled and squinted, the light personally assaulting his eyes, but extracted himself from the car, Gladstone wagging her little tail on the sidewalk, waiting for him.
He stumbled up the stairs, muttering to himself and promptly collapsed on the couch once they got in the door.
“Tea?” John called from the kitchen. There was a grunt in response. John took that to mean yes, and brought two cups in to the living room, setting one on the table near Sherlock and keeping the other for himself as he sat down in his own chair with his laptop. It was time for some research.
Sherlock awoke later that night, rather miserable about having to leave the crime scene.
John finally got tired of listening to it and tried a distraction tactic.
“Do you not have meds?” John asked, as though the thought had just occurred to him instead of spinning around for hours.
Sherlock snorted. “Of course I do. It's the only reason I'm able to function and live on my own. Before them, when I was younger, I'd have up to five a day. So one a week is fantastic.”
John gaped and Sherlock only smirked at his expression.
“Why didn't Mycroft tell me?” John accused.
“Blackmailed him,” Sherlock replied, tapping away on his phone.
John groaned. He decided moving on to his next question was probably the best thing he could do.
“So. Gladstone. A seizure alert dog?”
Sherlock nodded, not bothering to look up.
“That's good... nice... Explains the vest,” he pointed out, more to himself than anyone else. He frowned, an unpleasant thought crossing his mind. “Does Mrs Hudson know?”
Sherlock shook his head.
“Despite my insistence,” came a voice from the door.
“Mycroft,” Sherlock noted, scowling in his general direction without even moving, which John had to admit was impressive.
“It has come to my attention that Doctor Watson finally knows.”
“Has it now...” Sherlock muttered.
Mycroft ignored him and strode over to John and handed him a thick file.
“Sherlock's medical records. I am confident you will find them... enlightening.” Mycroft glanced down to Gladstone. “I trust that the dog has been of some use.”
“Quite,” Sherlock said shortly, glaring at him.
Gladstone, as if sensing she was being discussed, stirred and began to wake. She stood up and began to growl.
Mycroft raised an eyebrow. “Is that her signal?”
Sherlock smirked at him. “No, she just doesn't like you. I've been told dogs are excellent judges of character.”
Mycroft smiled thinly, but his eyes told another story.
“If you are finished disturbing our evening, I trust you can see yourself out.”
Mycroft glared at his brother for a moment before twirling his umbrella as he walked away.
John was still grasping the thick file, glancing over at Gladstone, who hadn't settled, despite Mycroft having left.
“You lied to him,” he noted.
Sherlock sighed. “Perhaps.”
John studied Sherlock for a minute, Gladstone whining at his feet, doing her job.
“So are you going to have another seizure?”
Sherlock sighed, tracing the pattern on the chair with his finger. “It would seem so,” he noted gloomily. “How dull.”
“Twice in one day. Are you sure that's normal?”
Sherlock glared at him, as if it was his fault. “No.”
he was silent, still tracing the pattern.
“No? Just... no? That's all you're going to say?”
Sherlock glared at him. “I may have...” he muttered something that John couldn't make out.
John raised his eyebrows. “ Sherlock,” he warned.
He sighed before replying. “I may have missed a dose of meds. Just perhaps.”
John looked at him with disappointment in his eyes, Sherlock could feel it.
He threw down the file from Mycroft and headed up to his room. Sherlock sighed, glancing down at Gladstone who was still whining and pawing at his feet, and led her off to his bedroom, where he laid down to wait. It was all he could do.
He was waiting for it to start, for the crackles and the darkness when John barged in, without so much as knocking.
“Rude...” he muttered.
“how long do you have after Gladstone alerts you?”
“Half an hour,” Sherlock told him, glancing at the bag in his arms.
John nodded. “And it's been what, ten minutes?”
“Twelve,” Sherlock corrected.
John rolled his eyes, smirking at Sherlock's obsessive attention to detail as he pulled something out of his bag.
A bottle. And then a syringe.
“How much do you weigh?” John asked, drawing it up.
“You already know,” Sherlock noted.
John grinned. “Yeah, well, this was my way of asking permission. Lorazepam?” he asked, holding up the syringe for Sherlock to see.
Sherlock nodded. “Not yet though. Wait until just before I start. I don't want to be sedated.”
John nodded, and sat down next to Sherlock to wait for his okay.
“I'm not letting you drive anymore,” he noted, recalling the time at Baskerville.
Sherlock smiled. “Probably for the best,” he agreed.
They chatted for a few more minutes, Gladstone looking on as a guardian, until Sherlock gave John the go ahead.
John injected the contents of the needle into his arm. “This is the only time,” he warned. “From now on, I'm making sure you take your meds every day. Got it?”
Sherlock nodded, but John wouldn't be surprised it he'd forgotten it by the time he got up. Lorazepam had that effect.
John waited for ten, twenty, minutes and still nothing happened. Confident that he'd warded off the seizure, John left Sherlock to sleep off the sedative and headed out to the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea and to read the file Mycroft had brought over.
John had his fingers crossed that there would be some psychological evaluations in there, although he highly doubted it.
John purchased a pill container for Sherlock, and ensured he took them every morning. Gladstone went with them everywhere, and they enjoyed making up reasons for why she accompanied them. (“I have a metal plate in my head and she keeps me away from magnets,” was John's favourite, where Sherlock's favourite was “I'm allergic to stupidity and Gladstone keeps me away from it. Ahem...Anderson.”)
John took it upon himself to educate Mrs Hudson, which was good when Sherlock had a seizure at her flat a couple months later while John was in Glasgow.
The fridge was always stocked with orange juice, in amongst the body parts and various experiments, and John, true to his word, never let Sherlock drive again. Although neither of them admitted it, they were both relieved.