Stiles isn’t sure things are entirely legit when he accepts the interview, so he has Scott on standby to call the NYPD if Stiles doesn’t text him at fifteen minute intervals. Stiles announces this as the door opens in front of him, then cringes. Because if this is legit, then, well. He’s just offended them. And if it isn’t, he’s just given away the ace up his sleeve.
There are two people in the doorway, watching him in the wake of his announcement. The woman sighs and elbows the man standing next to her. “See, I told you it was shady-sounding,” she says plainly.
The man, on the other hand, looks approving of Stiles’ precautions, which is confirmed when he says, “Very nice, Mr. Stilinski. I always appreciate a finely honed sense of self-preservation.”
It takes everything Stiles has not to laugh. No one’s ever accused him of even having a sense of self-preservation before, much less a finely honed one. Scott is going to cry with laughter when Stiles tells him about this.
The woman—Joan Watson, “Call me Joan”, as she introduces herself—invites him in. The man—Sherlock Holmes, and Stiles would comment on the name if he didn’t go by Stiles for a damn good reason—offers him tea. Stiles accepts, even though he doesn’t like tea, because it seems like good manners.
Joan goes off to prepare the tea, and Stiles is left waiting with Mr. Holmes in what, in another house, would be a living room, but in this one seems to be a catchall place for, well, all sorts of everything. He wanders around, looking at the books, glancing at the locks hanging from grating against a walls, eying the numerous televisions and monitors blaring ten different programs at once.
He doesn’t realize Mr. Holmes is speaking to him right away, doesn’t notice until he pops in front of Stiles with a pleased smile on his face. “You take remarkable notice of your surroundings, Mr. Stilinski. An admirable trait. Might I suggest you work on the ability to simultaneously listen and observe? It will serve you better, I think. Ah, tea. Thank you, Watson!”
The tea tastes different enough from the Tetley teabags Stiles has drank in the past that he figures it has to be fancy and/or expensive, and probably the loose kind that you, like, steep. He feels a little out of his comfort zone, but forgets about it when Mr. Holmes asks the first official question of the interview.
"Tell me, Mr. Stilinski—"
"You can call me Stiles."
Joan smiles warmly, but Holmes seems momentarily displeased, maybe by the informality, before his cheerful grin reasserts itself.
"Stiles, then." He gets this intent look on his face. "Tell me, what did you notice when you were so distracted looking around the room?"
Stiles may not be known for his sense of self-preservation, or even his tact, but he’s got a good gut for people. He has a feeling that Mr. Holmes wants to know what stood out, rather than receive a detailed inventory. He takes a sip of his tea, considers both Joan and Mr. Holmes, and then sets his cup aside.
"There are a couple of locks over there that haven’t been released yet, and a few that are fake. I’m not sure why you’ve got fake padlocks, but you do. Those handcuffs are standard police issue.” He skims his eyes across the room again. “Your folklore and mythology books are, like, totally crap selections. There’s a crack in that window, honey dripping somewhere out of sight, and a tortoise under that table.”
Joan blinks at Stiles, then looks under the table. “That’s Clyde.”
Mr. Holmes seems even more pleased than earlier. “How is it a college sophomore knows so much about locks and handcuffs?”
"My father is the county Sheriff, back home. I learned a lot from him."
Mr. Holmes shares a look with Joan and beams at Stiles. “And the critiques of my library?”
"Not your whole library. Just that one section. I’m majoring in the subject. There are better specific sources, and way better compendiums out there. I’ll give you a list, if you want."
Joan frowns curiously. “How did you know about the honey?”
Stiles shrugs. “I can hear a dripping sound. It’s slow and thick, and since it smells like honey…it sort of made sense.” He pauses. “Why is there honey dripping in another room?”
Mr. Holmes waves that away. “You’re hired, Stiles,” he says, and gets to his feet in a rush of energy. “Sort out the details with Ms. Watson. I’ve just had a breakthrough on a case.”
Stiles stares after the man for a moment, then looks at Joan, “What just happened? What even is this job about?”
Joan sighs, long-suffering but amused. “Text your friend, and then I’ll go over everything with you.”