… art school, or something.

Sherlock shifts, appreciative of John’s weight, and warmth, that is still beside him even though it’s 10 o’clock in the morning so very far from John’s usual schedule. “Only if they include the pants,” Sherlock mutters as John’s fingers touch his hair.
“Sherlock–!”
“You think very deliberately,” he mused. “Should be an artist’s model. Could do a study in sheets..drapery? Except he’d never bloody move to change poses,” he recites John’s thoughts gently. Then, adds. “Only if they include the pants.” A pair of redpants slung over the top of the headboard. John smirks, presses a kiss to Sherlock’s forehead, a phone rings.

“Oh, Bill. No, no, I’m free,” his words are tentative, he doesn’t want to leave, but feels he should. Sherlock is already sulking. John hangs up after a few moments, pulling the other man close to him, but his energy has changed from before. “Bill wants me to meet him down at the pub. I should go, we haven’t had a chance to catch up for a while.”
“But it’s a Sunday,” Sherlock protests with a groan.
“Sunday lunch or a pint, then. Won’t be long. A couple of hours. Need anything from the shops?” He emerges from the bathroom fully dressed, checking the window for the weather.
“Patches.”
“Anything else?” John stands in the doorway, neatening his clothes, straightening his cuffs, and his collars.
“Ask Gladstone,” he mutters, before rolling over.
“Anything else?” John asks, smiling fondly at the determined, wriggling bullpup. He closes the door to Baker Street, taking the stairs with ease.

Chewie?

The pub is always the same, and while John is looking forward to catching up with Bill, he’s never been very good in pubs since dragging Harry out of far too many in recent (and not-so recent) years. Bill approaches him, smiling from behind newspaper-stand reading glasses and round cheeks. And there’s someone else with him, too. “John, this is Jean, Jean, this is John. Jean works in marketing,” Bill offered gently, and John shook her hand. As the hour drags on, he tries not to think about how pub-excursions with Lestrade are so much better because the two of them just talk about Sherlock while John tries not to use words like bright, brilliant and beaut-

“So, John. You write a blog, I’ve read some of your stuff and I think it’s great,” Jean is smiling, and John realises she’s said something.
“Living with him must be terrible though,” Bill says with a rumbling chortle.
“Oh, it’s, fine, actually. It’s all fine,” John nods, feeling the conservation slow he still doesn’t say anything more.
“So Bill told me you went to King’s? My sister went there she did social science and public policy for a while…”

A text comes through, enough to make John frown, firmly.
Emergency. – SH
“Everything all right?” Jean smiles warily.
“No, sorry. It’s…an emergency. I have to go.” He leaves, slamming notes down on the table and bidding a hasty good-bye. From there, it’s a maze of cabs and sprinting on the pavement. 4 and a half years of chasing Sherlock through the streets allowed him to make short work of the distance home, however. Still, he takes the stairs two at a time, hand firmly on the hilt of his sidearm as he pulled open the door to 221B, and then to Sherlock’s room.

Sherlock has barely moved.

“What the bloody hell?” He stops, finally, to catch his breath.
“Close the window,” he mumbles into his pillow.
“You summoned me all the way from..” he sighs, moving to the window, closing it. “To close a window?”
“How was the date?”
“How did you know that, then?” The good doctor’s hands brush the upper part of Sherlock’s thigh as his sheets are rearranged.
“Sunday. And you and Bill meet on-”
“Saturday,” John finishes, shaking his head, but smiling. “How am I supposed to know if it’s a real emergency though, you know like, oh..the flat’s on fire, or, you’ve finally been run over by a bus, or..”
Sherlock reaches for him, pulls him in close, kisses him. “By a distinct lack of SH.” 

“Right. Well, I’m off to do the shopping, then. Patches, you said?”
“Yes.”

A little while later, John has unpacked the groceries (alone, thank-you), he watches Gladstone waddle away victoriously.

Chewie!

“Patches,” he slips the packet onto the bedside table.
“Perhaps you should draw me after all,” Sherlock’s tone is cheeky.
“Oh? And why would that be?”
“Well, you’ll be needing plenty of interests to keep you entertained through your permanent bachelorhood,” he smirks.
“Oh will I just?”
“Mm. You’d need to study your subject very thoroughly first, however.”

Advertisements

School Bag

“You called about a case,” I said, and sat down. Lack of sleep, coffee with two shots, hasn’t left his desk all day, changed his shirt, he’s been home but not to sleep. Forgot his deodorant – his wife is back, but not happy. Definitely needs a new patch. Undoubtedly, he was stuck on a totally pointless fact.

“I just don’t get why they left the kid alone in the house.” Ah. Yes. Not only pointless, but absurd. Lestrade was in fine form tonight. Everything about his body, his mind was so talkative. The clicking of his jaw, the grinding of his teeth, his eyebrows, the way he frowned, how he flexed his shoulders when he was feeling smug, the number of ways in which he would shake his head. His body was…noisy, and occasionally rude. Interrupted my process on more than one occasion.

He glanced about, and I could tell that he felt it was no longer his domain. He was going to ask me a question, about going to the pub. An invitation. I would decline.

“Want to go down to the pub for a pint?”

“No.”

He stopped, looked hurt, then miffed. “Well there’s no reason to–” He’s had an idea. “I had an idea. Come with me.”

The two of us walk not-quite abreast on the pavement, because if you have ever walked beside Lestrade you’ll notice that his shoulders are very…pushy. He’s the man who, after a few drinks, will elbow you after he’s told a joke. To see if you got it. I light a cigarette while we walk. I need peace. We arrive at a Chinese restaurant. I would be surprised it was open this late, if I had not already observed that stayed open till 2am.

“This place stays open till 2am, you know.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well of course you bloody do. Here. Sit.”

While he’s ordering the food, he asks me what I would like to eat.

“I don’t need anything. I’m fine.” I need peace. I need quiet. I need someone who’s more likely to chew with their mouth closed and drop things on their shirts. Every time he looks down and sees a new stain he says, How’d that get there? Like it wasn’t bloody obvious.

“But you don’t look well, Sherlock.”

“Neither do you.”

“You have to eat, please. Here. Have these.” He nudges a steam basket with dumplings. “If you don’t, your body will just keep eating itself. Your bones will start breaking prematurely because of early on-set osteoporosis.”

He doesn’t realise that I don’t care that I’m probably the worst I’ve ever been. My face is nothing but cheekbones and a jaw.

“Have you been calling that free health line again?”

“Yes. And so I should because I’m bloody concerned about you.”

“They only have registered nurses on those phones anyway. Totally pointless,” I replied. So, he had wanted to get out of Scotland Yard, and now he was trying to rope me into eating, too.

“You need a doctor,” he said with ernest.

“Maybe I do.”

His pager makes a noise, and he excuses himself to use a phone booth. He left his phone in his jacket pocket at the Yard. I have to time what I’m about to do perfectly. I picked up the chopsticks and bit into the dumplings rapidly, only half-heartedly chewing my food, because I hate chewing. It’s so repetitive, and mundane and continuous. I eat, and eat, and try not to think about how the soy is too salty or how much blood will have to leave my brain in order to digest this meal. He’s gone for quite some time, and I binge. When Lestrade returns, the baskets have all been replaced with new ones of the same type. Had he been observant he would have noticed that the dumplings I ate would have gone cold had I left one – these ones are steaming. But he doesn’t.

“You need to eat, Sherlock.”

“Show me a photo of the victim.” He does. A young boy, biological fluid all over his shirt. Items found on the body. None.

“Have they found his school bag yet?”

“No.”

“This is a homicide, not just a suspicious death. His shoes are on the wrong feet. That happens when someone who is facing you. These shoes were put on after death, his feet have been bound by climbing cord, the arson of the house was for a life and house insurance policy that was only guaranteed if the father was the benefactor. The mother and father of the boy are separated, and the boy would be coming of age in a few years, the house is in the mother’s name and the father would soon be cut off from accessing any funds whatsoever.” Generally I love divulging the science behind the deduction. Tonight I can’t be bothered.

“But…but the guy called 999?”

“To make sure it was all going to plan.”

“You’re clever, you know that?”

Obviously.

College

The sun slips through the clouds, but offers no warmth. Its light is brittle and white and Sherlock wakes to the impatient vibration of a flip phone. He can feel John’s frown, and he sits up, knowing the time for secretive, shy touches and whispered latin words has passed already.

His spine juts out, and his complexion is pale, made paler by the light outside. He’s corners, and curls and glittering dust and bedclothes. He knows that John sees him. His bruises, the redness under his eyes, his near-constant thin film of sweat. John can’t turn away, and Sherlock can’t pretend.

He just hopes, hopes with all his heart, that John will always look at him the same way. But John won’tThe real question, was would he take Molly’s crest-fallen, wounded look or Lestrade’s stubborn, hard-set jaw and grinding teeth? Or perhaps he would be similar to Mycroft, and avoid looking at him all together.

He crawls to the edge of the bed and pulls out a violin case from underneath the mattress. He clicks it open and tucks the stringed instrument under his chin. He tunes it impatiently, and begins to pluck, and play. His bow slices through the dust motes, slipping up the neck of the violin, and back to the bridge. When he stops, he remains silent.

His limbs are loose but taut like a child, and though he cannot say it, a shy smile in the corner of his mouth and a softening of his eyes would suffice.

Morning.

6pm on a Sunday

They were supposed to be observing a suspect in a case. But…it was so awfully boring. 6pm mass on a Sunday. This is how people spend their weekend?

Sherlock turned his face slightly towards John. After a few moments of watching the other man’s face, his chest rise and fall, Sherlock’s eyes began to smoulder.

“…Sherlock.” 

“What?” He shifted forward, lengthening his legs, and spreading them so their knees were touching.

“We’re supposed to be…”

“Confessing our sins?” He smirked a little. He leaned in closer to John’s ear.

“Good idea.” The detective rose and moved to the confessional unashamedly, holding John’s eye contact as he went.

Sherlock Holmes wasn’t the type to experiment sexually outside of his own bedroom, but then he was always finding new habits.

And what else can you expect from a man of his habits?

A Study in Red

A day and a half after hauling her and her terribly long legs into bed, cursing under his breath and muttering spiteful comments about Irene Adler’s behaviour, John watches her pull on a robe and walk sleepily into the kitchen.

She fills the kettle with water and flicks it on with her finger, waiting for the sound of steadily rising, rumbling steam.

Over this din, she speaks. “John, could you run me a bath please?”

The soldier opens his mouth to protest, but knows she wouldn’t hear him over the sound of the water, and even if she did, she wouldn’t hear him if she didn’t want to. He rises stubbornly to his feet, as much as anyone can rise stubbornly to their feet – and went into the bathroom.

He runs the water and briefly looks for epsom salts and pauses over Sherlock’s myriad of creams, salves, powders, pumices, fixes and balms. The captain turns over the little tubs and pots in his hands, trying not to twist any caps and remember where they all went.

Honeysuckle and Sage hand cream, with a thin silver lid and heavy glass-green container. Leatherwood Honey and Peach Nectar bath melt, Athenian Buttermilk and Sumatran Coconut soap, still in the paper. John allows himself the luxury of looking through her lipsticks, and, to his surprises, recognises most of them by their shade. A nude pink, a warm peach, an understated pink – English Rose, one name not written in English – rouge – and a red he’s never seen on her before.

The colour itself was as lurid and vivid as it was dark. It was red enough to be blood.

The good doctor puts the lipsticks away and pulls up his sleeve, testing the water and shaking his hand before drying it. He walks into the sitting room and Sherlock walks into the bathroom, already untying her robe.

She forgets her tea, John realises, once he’s returned to his chair, and sits there to stare at it for several minutes.

“John,” she calls, as if she’s speaking over her shoulder.

“Mm?” comes the half-distracted reply.

“Could you bring me my tea, please? It’s on the counter,” she says, and John is rather astonished that she’s said please twice in a day, let alone such a short period of time.

The former soldier collects her tea and knocks, and is about to open with a joke about what wonders little kips can do for someone’s manners, but he stops himself.  The detective is pulling her curls over one shoulder, running her fingers through them and looking over at him. “Anywhere there is fine, thank you Watson.”

Christ —! Sherlock, I’m so sorry,” he starts, placing the mug down and half backing-out.

“It’s fine,” she replies with a smooth roll of her eyes. “You’re a doctor.”

“Yes,” he answers, knowing he’s flustered already and that his ears are going swiftly scarlet. “But I’m not your doctor.”

“Yes you are,” she says emphatically, reaching for the Leatherwood Honey and Peach Nectar bath melt. She uses a wooden tongue dispenser she nicked from John’s kit to spoon it in, the mixture so viscous and so like honey the company had to print a warning label for the jar telling people not to eat it.

“Right, well, ah, I should…” he licks his lips, though, and thinks about how he’s her doctor, and she interrupts him again.

“Have you been through my things?”

The question is poised very matter-of-factly, and Watson thinks that he’d rather be back in Afghanistan than watching a beautiful detective in her bath. Well, almost. Not really. All things considered. Sort of. “Was looking for epsom salts, actually.”

“Oh, I ran out the other day. Should buy some more. I also need almond oil body scrub and some extra gentle soap, and some lipstick,” she talks as if he should be writing these things down.

“Why more lipstick?” John asks, before he can stop himself. He avoids her eye as best he can, but her gaze finds his – and holds it, in the end.

“Because the one I have doesn’t suit me,” Sherlock says, without specifying which one.

“But I like it,” he answers, a little too-firm and a little too-possessive, and slowly realising what he’s just said just then.

And the detective holds his gaze again and doesn’t say anything for a long, humid moment.

“Away with you, then,” she says, dismissing him. “I’ve thinking to do.”

The Littlest Watson

There’s the rattle of the phone being picked up from the cradle and a long pause. The telly drones on in the background, hidden by the din of pots and pans and self-censored swearing.

“Hello?”

“Hello,” a dark, cultured voice answers, smooth and undisturbed. The speaker stops in the middle of the street and turns around. “…who are you?”

“Sherlock.” The response is delivered with a matter-of-factness particular to five-year-olds. “Who’s this?”

“Sherlock Holmes,” comes the reply, delivered with a matter-of-factness particular to five-year-olds.

“No!” comes the appalled reply. Her frown is nearly audible. “It’s Sherlock Watson.”

He still doesn’t move.

“Sherlock Holmes,” he answers. Again. “Consulting Detective. Sort of. Only one in the world.”

“Why are you the only one?”

“Because I made it up. My method is based upon the observation of trifles. I am the last and highest court of appeal in detection.”

“Oh,” she replies. Then, “… can I be a concerning detective?”

“Yes. Of course you can. The world is full of things that nobody by chance ever observes,” he explains, walking on to try and find a quieter corner of London. “But eliminate all other factors and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

“ … improbable,” she whispers to herself. Diligently, she adds it to her mental list of words to ask her father for the meaning of.

“Is your father in, then? Don’t pass me to him, just tell me what he’s doing.”

She frowns for another two-point-five seconds.

“He’s cooking dinner,” she says, slyly peering around the corner at her father. The middle-aged man pulls out the kitchen knives from the block and replaces them one-by-one, muttering under his breath when he can’t find the blade being used by the television chef. “So we might have Chinese again.”

“Chinese,” Sherlock murmurs appreciatively. “Sounds good.” The taller man pauses, looking up for a moment. “Does he still order the chicken with ginger and green onion, with a side of special fried rice?”

The child adjusts the square phone in her small hands. “No,” she says, blinking. “I don’t like ginger. Or onion. So he gets sweet and sour sauce.”

He starts to walk again. He sucks cold air over his teeth.

“Quick question,” the former detective starts, half-glancing over his shoulder. “The bottom of your father’s jeans — are they worn a little bit, or are they faded at all? Can you have a look for me?”

She does. The good doctor turns around, still in search of his knife, and she dashes back behind the corner again.

“He isn’t wearing denims. He worked today.”

“Does he have a moustache?”

“He has one sometimes, after he’s been at the surgery too much,” she answers, candidly. “Oh, and in photos — but that was before I knowed him.”

She scratches her nose and thinks. She remembers the wedding photos, stashed in cardboard boxes under the steps, collecting dust.

“… did you know my dad when he had a moustache?”

“Yes,” Sherlock replies, slipping into a café and nodding at the waitress. He seats himself at a table and drums his long fingers. “It was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen. He got rid of it after I told him so. That is, after he chinned me. Twice.”

“Twice?” she repeats, considering this for a moment. “Did he miss the first time?”

Sherlock laughs. It’s a deep, dark sound, like oncoming thunder. “He didn’t miss the first time. He was very cross with me.”

The young Watson has wild, fair hair that sticks up in an unreasonable mess of clumpy curls. It’s as conspicuous as a flag at sea, and her father notices it peering around the corner again.

“Willow,” the doctor starts. “Who’s on the phone?”

The detective silently tests the name in his mouth.

Willow. Willow Watson. Concerning Detective.

“It’s Sherlock!” she shouts back.

“Alright, Sherlock,” John sighs, loudly. Although his voice is tinged with irritation and impatience, it rings with ease and familiarity and love. “Who are you chatting with?”

She disappears from sight.

“Is it your aunt Harry?”

“… how old are you?” the man on the other end of the line asks after a moment.

“I’m five,” she continues, whispering frantically as her father approaches, wiping his hands on a tea towel and tossing it over a shoulder. “So how come I never seen you afore?”

“I went away five years ago.” He pauses, and starts to count the minutes. “It was only meant to be a six month contract, but it took longer. I didn’t keep in touch.” He’s more truthful than he needs to be, than he should be, but Sherlock can’t help himself. “I’ve missed London.”

“You should stay in London, then.”

“I’ll have to get to know her again,” the detective warmly replies.

“You should also come see Da,” she says, decidedly. “Because I’ve never met someone with the same name as me before.”

“I’m not sure your Dad would be comfortable seeing me, Willow,” Sherlock says the statement as gently as he can, but it still hurts. “It’s been a long time.”

Dr. Watson stops in the doorway and authoritatively holds out his hand for the phone; she squeaks and scampers off.

“Sherlock, I’m not chasing after you again!”

The detective wonders if she gets in trouble much, or if she’s good, like John.

“I should go, Willow.”

The taller man swallows whatever it is that’s building in his chest and sinks down like a child into his chair.

“Good night, Miss Watson.”

He hangs up quickly, without decorum, and exhales for one long, singular moment.

 

(I wrote this piece with my lovely wife, Ms. Watson~. We wrote it as a role-play so please excuse any discrepancies or repetitiveness that comes with writing in a different format. That said, she did help me edit it – and did so beautifully, I might add. I would be lost without her, as it turns out. You can find her art here if you like; bits of her written work should be on there too, somewhere. I love her writing regardless, and I’m so happy I got to share this with you.)

Take Notes

My name is Mycroft Holmes, I occupy a small position in the British Government, and I have a tendency to take notes. I was four years of age when I made my first note. It was a most obvious note, but a most important one. 9th of January 1978.

Surlock. I admit, the spelling is a little childish but then, so was I.

My father was half-sleeping in a chair at the University Hospital of Wales. We had been there a long time, almost 24 hours. Even in birth, Sherlock was difficult. My father sat up and rubbed his temples, and seeing I had nothing to do, took a notebook out of his pocket and handed it to me. Both my father and mother always made a point of treating both Sherlock and I with the same respect as any adult. It was in this vein, that my father taught me everything I know now.

“Take this, Mycroft. And write things in it that you find important. Make notes. They’ll help you.”

“Ta Daddy.”

My father moved closer to my mother’s bedside, who by now was a little delirious with medication but nonetheless bright-eyed. He kissed her hand, and they talked softly for a little while, not because they felt they couldn’t talk freely, but because both of my parents were so tired.

“You’re still here.”

“Of course I am, Helen. Of course I am.”

“Has the Doctor come yet?”

“Not yet, darling. Be patient.” Hours later, there he was. Pink, and screaming and squealing and kicking. My mother held him in her arms, and hummed gently to him when he screamed and cried relentlessly for those few days in the hospital, and I stood on tip-toe to peer over  at my baby brother in his crib. I will admit, I was jealous with a typical sibling rivalry. I have always found it so interesting that my mother – Helen Holmes, was intelligent enough and bold enough to do anything she wanted, and she chose to be a mother. Of course, she would argue that it was not a choice at all, but an honour, and a privilege.

When he was younger, I tried to teach Sherlock all that I knew. He was the world’s most unwilling apprentice – and his logic was completely different to mine. We both wanted to be right, and often we were, the problem was we refused to agree. Having observed him as he was growing up I can safely say he has not changed much at all. When I was younger, I used to try to…tame his obsessions, to slow him down, to calm him, to soothe him. Nothing I tried was ever successful. I have since learnt that you can’t stop Sherlock from running. All you can do is try and keep up with him as he runs.

At first there was his soldier, then he chased drugs. And then there was John. Someone even I could not have predicted.

My first ever note was not very logical, or even very observant, but it was very sentimental.