|31 Drabbles of Solstice #13: Sherlock Crack Miscellany
||[Dec. 17th, 2010|02:39 pm]
(she lives between pages)
Something Completely Different
required. Come at once.
I'll buy you dinner.
The promise of food rarely means anything good, so John begs off the remainder of his shift on grounds that he's feeling under the weather. Fortunately, he doesn't have to fake it (much), as he'd been up until five in the morning, and Sarah had told him on his way in that he looked like death warmed over (twice). By the time John reaches Bart's, he's missed Mike for the day, so there's no chance of any diversion should what he finds in the mortuary turn out be completely unmanageable.
John stops in the doorway, trying to process what he sees.
Sherlock is examining a corpse's teeth with his magnifier, Molly is collecting samples of God-knows-what from under its toenails, and there are kittens wandering aimlessly about their feet, mewling pitifully. There are four of them, and they can't be any more than three or four weeks old. One is huddled next to Molly's stockinged ankle, apparently terrified, and the other three are busy either playing with Sherlock's untied shoelaces or trying to climb his trouser legs. It's cuter than it ought to be.
"A little help?" he asks, not looking up. He obviously means the kittens.
John doesn't waste any time crossing the room to crouch next to Sherlock at the gurney, holding out a tentative hand to the inquisitive calico. She sniffs at John suspiciously, gives a soft chirp, and then butts her head up under his palm. John grabs her, along with the other two, who object loudly to being removed from their playthings. John doesn't bother with the kitten crouched beside Molly, as it seems quiet and mostly well-behaved. Or, again, terrified. It's hard to tell.
"Would you mind explaining?" John asks, struggling to keep the kittens balanced in his arms. The calico has crawled under his coat, where it's purring loudly, possibly with intent to sleep, but the other two are fussing at each other with claws drawn.
"Aren't they sweet?" Molly asks, tweezering something miniscule into a plastic baggie. "I found them on my way in. Somebody had just left them under a hedge about a block from my flat. I couldn't have left them; they'd have frozen."
"And your superior doesn't have any problem with this?" asks John, incredulously. He's never minded animals, but he prefers not to have them thrust upon him.
"He doesn't know," Molly says, biting her lip. "He's on holiday already."
"I see," John says. The calico does, indeed, seem to be asleep, and the other two have settled down to alternately staring up at him and kneading at his coat.
"I thought we might take one," says Sherlock, offhandedly.
"You thought we might what?"
"Take one," Sherlock repeats, snapping shut his magnifier and rising. He reaches out and scratches behind the ears of the pair in John's arms. "Molly's landlord won't take kindly to four, but she thinks she could persuade him to let her keep two. She thinks she's already found a home for one of them, not counting our offer."
"Our offer?" John echoes. "Sherlock, have you discussed this with Mrs. Hudson?"
"She'll raise the rent by fifty quid a month," Sherlock replies.
John would like to strangle Sherlock, but the kittens make that nigh on impossible.
"Please say you'll take one, at least for now," Molly begs.
Under his breath, Sherlock is muttering about fucking idiots who abandon kittens.
"Oh, for Christ's sake," John sighs. "All right."
"The one inside your coat will do," Sherlock says. "If that's all right with Molly?"
"Yep," Molly says, scooping up the black kitten at her feet. "This girl's mine."
John studies the two awake in his arms. They're white with black patches.
"Who's taking one of these lucky fellows?"
"Priyanka," Molly says. "She works in reception."
Sherlock, who appears to be done with whatever he was doing, takes one of the black and white kittens away from John. It promptly climbs up Sherlock's scarf and attempts to settle itself on Sherlock's shoulder as he wanders over to bin his gloves. Sherlock takes it down and tucks it into the crook of his elbow, as if kitten-handling were par for the course in his line of work. Maybe he's had loads of cases dealing with cats.
"Excellent," he says, smiling at Molly. It feels genuine this time, not his usual faking-it. "We'll leave you with these three," he says, taking the other black-and-white away from John and setting both of them down on the floor. They skitter over to Molly's feet, their wide, wary eyes still fixed on Sherlock.
"Right, then," John says, prodding the warm lump in his coat. It mews.
"We'll be off," Sherlock tells Molly. "Happy Christmas."
"To you, too," she says, and then, when they're nearly out the door, "Let me know what you name her! And tell me what she thinks of Mrs. Hudson!"
"Pain in the arse," John mutters, but the truth is that the little calico is awake now and peering up at him with huge, intelligent green eyes, and he thinks he might be just a little bit in love. Sherlock scratches behind her ear, winking.
"Doesn't suit her," he says. "We'll discuss it over dinner."
Driving Mrs. Hudson
"Remind me what we're doing here?" John asks, poking at his fish and chips.
"It's Mrs. Hudson's birthday," Sherlock reminds him, hands wrapped around a sickly-sweet cup of coffee. "She's always wanted to visit this place, and she asked us to spend the day with her. Somehow, we assented."
"Right," John says, downing a mouthful of chips. "But, Dickensworld. Really."
"Here we are," Sherlock says, spreading his arms wide. "Hiding from the multitude of pseudo-Victorian horrors right here in this not-so-historically-accurate concession. What did you think of the Peter Pan Panto? A bit overdone, one feels."
"I'm not answering that question," John mutters, sipping his tea.
"And we've got approximately seventy-five minutes left till Mrs. Hudson's out of the Senior Screen showing of Eat Pray Love."
"Dessert?" John asks. "I mean, once I've finished this lot?"
"I've always been rather partial to candy-floss," admits Sherlock, grinning.
Back Away Slowly
Sherlock slams the heavy iron door and stalks around to where John's been standing on the other side of the Plexiglas barrier. He'd attempted to persuade the guards to let John go in with him, but apparently the rule was one interrogator at a time. The man at the table is watching them intently through the barrier.
"There's no getting anything out of him," Sherlock mutters. "Fancy a go?"
John vehemently shakes his head.
"Won't go near him, thanks. You're just about the level of insane I can tolerate."
"Why do you think he does it? Never mind the antics; I'm talking about the costume."
"Anybody's guess," John says. "The world makes more sense to him that way."
"I'd rather feared that was the answer," Sherlock sighs.
The man grins knowingly, scars distended, waving cheerfully as they depart.