Not only were John's feet cold--something he was unhappily getting familiar with--but Sherlock's side of the bed was also cold. He opened his eyes and peered at the clock on the nightstand. A quarter past two. He'd only been a sleep for a couple of hours. By all rights, Sherlock should be as knackered as he was after the shag they'd had, so where was he?
He rose and pulled on Sherlock's bathrobe over Sherlock's naked body. Since he was still wearing the latter, it was only sensible to also don the former. The flat was dark except for a dim light in the sitting room. He followed it like a will o' the wisp to its source. Partly it was the streetlamps softly shining through the curtains. More particularly, it was the glow of Sherlock's laptop screen. It highlighted planes of John's face in ways John, of course, had never seen before. Still, it was better than the back of his own head. He would never, ever get used to seeing that.
This was too much. "Surely all of your notes from tonight are typed up by now," he said quietly.
"Then come back to bed."
"I'm doing research." Sherlock was seated on the sofa, legs stretched out in front of him along the cushions. Normally that would leave precious little room at the other end for John to sit down, but as things were, it was no trouble at all. John sat.
Sherlock gave him one of those "tell me you're not that stupid" looks. John would have to remember how it looked and practice it himself once he got his face back. It was bound to come in handy at some point. "Right. What specific aspect of our predicament are you researching?" John clarified.
"Yes?" He got the impression there was more.
"And fairy tales."
"Oh. That's sensible."
Another of those looks came John's way. "Of course it is."
"What have you learned?"
"I have learned that I don't enjoy fairy tales. Neither reading them nor living them."
"I agree with you there." John hesitated before going on. Dare he point out the obvious? "You know..."
"I am not apologising until I know who I am speaking to." Sherlock's snappish response was the tone John had expected, but the sentiment was new to him.
"So you've finally accepted what Winnie said? About the apology?"
Sherlock sighed in frustration. "I am running out of plausible alternative theories."
It was the closest he ever got to admitting he was wrong. John was pleased he'd come that far as quickly as he had. Not that almost a week in each other's bodies was quickly enough when Sherlock had been told three days ago exactly what he had to do.
John prudently kept that opinion to himself. "I take it you're trying to determine the identity of our fairy queen cum renaissance-fair witch."
"I am, but there's too much data and not enough of it is any use. There are princes turned into frogs, maidens transformed into fish, people cursed to be trees. Yet nowhere have I found a single reference to two people switching bodies."
"There's Freaky Friday." John deserved the disgusted look he got that time. "Sorry. Is it really that vital that you learn her name?"
"What am I meant to do, John? Address the air?"
"No, but you could call her by her title or some honorific. Surely she's accustomed to that, being a queen and all."
Sherlock shut the laptop, thereby dousing the majority of the light in the room. He set it aside on the floor, presumably in order to focus his full attention on disputing every suggestion John might present. "Oh yes, that's brilliant." He put on a mockingly humble tone. "Oh great magical Queen of the Fairies, I beg your majesty's pardon. Ridiculous," he concluded in his usual voice. Well, not voice, because he was still using John's vocal chords to speak with, but in his usual manner.
"Well it isn't going to work at all if you say it like that. You have to mean it, Sherlock. What's really stopping you? I know you can do it. I've heard you give a sincere apology when it was necessary and appropriate. More than once."
"You're failing to observe a crucial point, John. On those rare occasions, I was, in fact, sorry."
That brought John up short. He sat up straight and glared at Sherlock in stunned astonishment. "Excuse me? Do you mean to say you feel no remorse at all over what's been done to us?"
"For what's been done, yes, I suppose."
"For what I said that caused it--"
"Oh my God! The fact that what you said to her directly cause this situation should be more than enough for you to regret having said it! You are such a stubborn, arrogant idiot!" John stood up sharply. "Fuck this. It is too late at night to continue having this conversation with you."
"What?" He spun on one foot and glared down his own damned face. God, he hated this!
Sherlock stood and stepped towards him. "I am sorry."
"Tell it to the Fairy Queen, mate, because until you do I am done with you. Come to bed or sleep out here. I genuinely do not care which. Good night."