Hamish turns up again nearly a week later, shuffling his feet at the top of the steps to keep them warm. It takes Sherlock a moment to answer; when he does, Hamish’s knees are pink with the cold, while his face is flushed with sheepishness.
“Hamish?” Sherlock doesn’t hide his surprise well. He doesn’t bother to.
“Wis, ehm, wunnerin’,” he says, shyly shuffling a paper bag of groceries. “If ye’d tell us whit Lunnon’s laat.”
“Well,” he starts, standing to one side to let the other man in. The detective is glad he neatened his furniture under an hour before, after upturning every table and chair and throwing all his crockery at the cabinets after Hamish left.
He left as well — for Edinburgh, for a case. Few leads, but a decent tailor.
“London is cold, and grey — busy in one corner, silent on the next. The weather’s never really good; the Thames is questionable. She shows her age if you know where to look.” he stops, pauses, and looks back at the younger man.
Hamish’s smile is hesitant, but sincere all the same. It’s the first time he’s smiled in a week.
“I mean, there’s the landmarks and the tourist cafés and the red telephone boxes with numbers for call girls and rent boys inside but, underneath all that, there’s a city even more eccentric.”
The boy peels off his damp jumper and scarf, hanging them over the chair, and watches the way the detective moves as he speaks. Sherlock’s animated, eccentric and impassioned, yet elegant all at once. Hamish doesn’t think he’s ever seen someone so alive.
“And yet its people are even stranger. Nobody looks at you if you’re different in London. She just … doesn’t mind.”
When Hamish catches himself staring, he starts unpacking the shopping — eggs. Milk. Honey.
“ … an’ ye wanted tae take us there?” he asks with as much strained casualty as he can muster, pretending to read the label on the creamed honey, red ears and all.
The detective nods, and starts to make tea. Sherlock’s not usually so domestic, but he’s learnt that a cup of tea will make Hamish linger for a little bit longer.
“Yes,” he says, hoping his tone is subtle yet dark enough with his signature baritone. “It’s further south than Edinburgh, but still British.”
Hamish grins at the taller man’s cheek.
(So, the wife suggested I edit this to include her wee parts – I didn’t previously because I didn’t want to steal her work! But, she offered, and thus, here we are, with a newly edited piece that hopefully flows better than previously. I personally adore her work, so I think this is all the better for it. Thank you, Miss Watson, for editing it, and thank you for anyone who’s read it~.)