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However Improbable

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Sherlock watches everything. Even when he's sitting in an outdoor cafe, on a stakeout of his own design, he's still got an eye on the traffic two streets over while he's got John watching the newsstand on the corner.

Naturally, he notices the little Japanese boy running into a telephone booth. And the teenage Japanese girl who runs up to the same booth and shouts at it is loud enough to catch even John's attention. A family on vacation, probably, and the younger brother went and ran off. How dull.

So when a teenage Japanese boy steps out of the booth, his clothes similar enough to the child's to make coincidence impossible, Sherlock sits up and takes notice.

Which inevitably makes John sit up and take notice. He frowns when the girl runs off in tears, and glances at Sherlock as if to confirm that yes, those were the people he was watching, for some unfathomable reason.

"A lovers' spat? Bit pedestrian for you, isn't it?" John asks.

"Quite," Sherlock agrees, getting to his feet, mind buzzing. "Keep an eye on the newsstand, will you?"

"Why, you going somewhere?"

"Just need to check on the... thing." Review the facts. The phone booth was empty when the boy ran in, Sherlock is sure of that. Yet it was a teenager who walked out, wearing approximately the same clothes and having similar physical features. By all appearances, the child had aged ten years in the space of a few minutes.

How can that be possible?

The phone booth is empty when Sherlock enters it. No trace of the child, or of a way the boy could have entered that Sherlock wouldn't have seen from the cafe. A bit of steam fogging the glass panes lower down, but no other indication that something bizarre had happened here.

The phone rings. Sherlock snatches it up on the first chime. "Did you see it?"

"Of course I saw it," Mycroft says, offended. "The question is, what did I see?"

"You've no idea either?"

"We're looking into the boy, should have him identified in a matter of hours," Mycroft says, and Sherlock can tell he's going to go into an unnecessary explanation of the details of such a venture just to annoy him, and automatically tunes him out. His mobile is buzzing in his pocket anyway, a perfectly timed distraction.

It's from John.

Woman in sunglasses and
blue sundress picked up
your package.

Should I follow?

No need, he texts back, hanging up on Mycroft with no small amount of pleasure. Send description of woman to Lestrade. Found more interesting case. SH

More interesting meaning?

Almost entirely impossible.
SH

Of course it does.