Here's how it started out:
"I need a holiday," I said. I leaned back in my chair, propped my feet up next to Sherlock's on the ottoman, and rubbed my eyes.
There wasn't anything in particular that was getting on my nerves that Monday (he remembers, now, that it was a Monday), just a general malaise. It was February, the surgery was full of red-cheeked children with runny noses and the occasional case of the flu just to liven things up. Sherlock hadn't any cases on and had spent most of the week playing his violin at odd hours, sulking on the couch, and attempting to destroy of all of the kitchen surfaces with various kinds of acid. He claimed it was on purpose, anyway.
This day, though, this Monday, was uneventful. I came home to Sherlock sulking quietly and only emanating mild waves of resentment, the takeaway curry I'd brought with me was still warm, and the cold I'd been nursing all last week was mostly gone. There was no cloud gloomier hanging over us than the fact that it was Monday, the first day of the work week which Sherlock finds so unbearably dull.
It was dull. It was boring. (Maybe that was it, he thinks.)
"Hmm," Sherlock replied. He nudged my feet over to the right. I looked at my sliver of the ottoman sadly.
We watched the X-Factor together in comfortable silence. The most rubbish dance troupe had been eliminated the previous week, and the only remaining contestant about whom Sherlock had any real grounds for complaint was that strange man with the stilts and magic tricks. I went to bed early and slept soundly for once.
Sherlock comes up behind him and starts reading over his shoulder, like he always does. He rests one hand on the back of my chair and braces the other against the desk, and for a moment he leans into John in a way John finds most agreeable. Then he says, with a tone someone else might mistake for irritation, "Sentimental rot."
"How would you write it, then?" John asks him, turning around in his chair. "The whole thing, as I said at the time, was rather implausible. And if you deny it was supposed to be a holiday there'll be no takeaway for you for the week, I swear."
"I'll get the takeaway." There's an unmistakeable glimmer in Sherlock's eye.
"No, you won't."
Right about then, Sherlock kisses him. It's quite pleasant, but my more than familiar with Sherlock's tactics when it comes to distraction. He pulls away. Sherlock pouts. "Fine. Start with the case, if you must. The diamonds."
Ah, yes, the diamonds. John almost forgot them. "The fish and chips," he says.
"All right. And stop licking my neck, you're– that's not fair."
Here's how Sherlock claims it began:
We were on the way home from Angelo's a few weeks later when a man in front of us dropped a newspaper behind him. I almost tripped over it. "You've lost your paper!" I shouted, but the man – average height, shoulders a bit stooped, elderly perhaps, though the hat he wore thrust his face into shadow – didn't respond, but hurried on ahead.
"No, he hasn't," Sherlock said brusquely. He took the paper out of my hands and stepped under the nearest street lamp to study it. "It's meant for us."
"How–" I began, but then I took a closer look. An article about the suspicious theft of the Duchess of Davenport's jewels at a charity ball the previous weekend had been circled, and certain words in the adjacent article about the city's best fish and chips underlined. "Can't see why they didn't call or send you an email. This seems a rather roundabout way to go about it."
"Assuredly," my flatmate agreed. "A poor attempt at piquing my interest."
We started toward home once more, and, rounding the corner, Sherlock chucked the paper in the nearest bin.
The next day, the comforting silence of my lunch hour was interrupted by my phone chirping with a text from Mycroft. "I have borrowed Sherlock for today. No need to wait up. I will return him at my convenience. MH"
John stretches, leaning back in his chair and tipping it up just a bit. "No, no," he mutters. "I've left out Harry entirely. That's no good." A bit louder, "Sherlock."
"Yes?" Sherlock's voice drifts over lazily from the couch.
"You're going to have to help me out with this bit. I don't know anything about the baby."
"You should leave that for the end."
"Suspense?" John raises an eyebrow.
Of course. In any case, John thinks he has a better idea of where he should begin. He mouses over the subject box and pauses for a moment. The Mysterious Affair of the Cruise Ship? Rather silly. Pursuit to Orlando? Not much better.
An idea strikes him and his mouth curves up into a involuntary smile. Of course.
The Unlikely Adventure of Prince Baby