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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
CANADIAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
NORTHERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
LOGAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
WESTERN LINCOLN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

* UNTIL 545 PM CDT


    It's a day like any other.

    At 6:58 AM, John wakes up.

    He showers, dresses, and eats breakfast by 7:38.

    At 8:13 the woman in apartment 3E comes by to ask him anxiously about her sore foot, as she has every day since she found out John was a doctor.

    At 9:49 John glances at job listings online. They're still looking for a permanent replacement for him at the trauma center.

    9:53, he's watching a cat fall off a piano on YouTube.

    12:22 John eats a sandwich at his little kitchen table, then falls asleep on the couch watching a soap opera.

    At 2:07 it starts to rain.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WATCH FOR...
OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
EASTERN CANADIAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
NORTHERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

* UNTIL 545 PM CDT


    The tornado sirens go off at 2:37 PM.

    At 4:01 they go off again.

    By the third time, 4:43, not many people are paying attention to them. The sirens are a frequent background noise in Tornado Alley, mostly signaling false alarms. The high-pitched wail is echoing through the streets when Sherlock shows up at John's door holding a cardboard box. He's soaked just from the walk from the taxi to the building, curls plastered to his forehead. 

    “The electric's out at my flat,” he says when John lets him in. “I'm bored.”

    “You know there's a tornado watch on, right?”

    “So? It's not a warning.” Sherlock says, dropping the box on John's couch. He rifles through and pulls out his laptop and an enormous stack of papers.

    John sinks down into his armchair. “You could still get struck by lightning.”

    “One hardly needs a tornado watch for that.” He strips off his sodden coat. “Anywhere I can hang this?”

    “Uh, over the tub, I suppose.” 

    John glances at the pile Sherlock's left on the couch. “What's all this you've brought?” he calls.

    “Maps,” Sherlock answers, coming back. “Records. I'm transferring them onto my computer.”

    “Oh.”

    Sherlock plugs in his laptop and settles himself on the couch.

    “Did you want something to eat?” John asks after a moment of staring at him.

    “Working.”

    “Oh. You don't mind if I...?”

    “It's your flat.”

    John escapes to the kitchen and microwaves himself a quick meal. He puts the kettle on to make some tea and uses the tea bags Harry sent for his birthday.

    John smiles a little to himself when Sherlock picks up the cup sat next to him without even looking at it. 

    It's nice to have some company.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS EXTENDED THE
* TORNADO WATCH FOR...
OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
EASTERN CANADIAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
NORTHERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

* UNTIL 630 PM CDT


    Sherlock doesn't even jump when lightning strikes nearby, just sets down one weather map and picks up another. He glances at it for a moment and goes back to typing.

    “You sure you should be using that during a storm?” 

    Sherlock raises an eyebrow at him.

    John shrugs and turns his attention back to the television. “Your funeral.” He flicks through the channels idly.

    “There's the siren again,” Sherlock says.

    “What?” John hits the mute button. Sherlock's right, the tornado siren has been activated again, wailing an eerie counterpoint to the storm.

    “Oh, and a warning's been issued for the area,” Sherlock turns his laptop around so John can see the website he's pulled up. “Fantastic, don't you think?”

    John groans. 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
LINCOLN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

* UNTIL 610 PM CDT

* AT 552 PM CDT...A TORNADO WAS SPOTTED NEAR
BRIDGE CREEK...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 25 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT
LIMITED TO NEWCASTLE...WESTMOOR...SOUTHRIDGE... 
MOORE...DEL CITY...LAKE STANLEY DRAPER...MIDWEST 
CITY.



    The stairwell is crowded and getting more so by the minute as the residents living above the ground floor come to seek shelter.

    Sherlock looks awkward with his long limbs folded up on the steps. He's balancing his laptop on his knees.

    “It's probably going to pass south of us, if it even gets this far,” he comments when John slides down next to him. “Pity.”

    “Yeah, well, I don't fancy having the roof torn off and all my things flung about, thank you very much.” John says. 

    They both wince as a baby starts crying, the noise multiplied in the enclosed space. There's a trio of college-aged girls on the next landing. One has her arms curled around herself, another is texting. The third is loudly talking about the tornado that destroyed the family shed when she was six. 

    “I doubt it'll be stronger than EF1,” Sherlock says. “It wouldn't do too much damage to this building.”

    “Don't sound so disappointed.” John leans against the wall, trying not to knock his head against the railing. “So,” he says after a moment. “What is it you do when you're not working?”

    Sherlock's fingers go still on the keys, and he looks over wide-eyed. “What?”

    He shrugs. “Just making conversation, pass the time a little faster.”

    “I'm always working.” Sherlock says.

    “No one's always working.” John rubs his shoulder. 

    “The weather never stops, John, and neither do I.”

    “No sports?”

    Sherlock shakes his head, wrinkling his nose.

    “Go out with friends? Girlfriend?” He pauses. “Boyfriend?”

    Sherlock just stares at John like he's not sure what language he's speaking.

    John coughs. “Yeah, I haven't dated much lately, either. Seems you're a bit less attractive when you're unemployed, even if you were a doctor.” He shuts up as Sherlock looks alarmed at this sudden outpouring of romantic troubles. John wonders if the tornado would like to take out the building right about now. He coughs again and shifts on the hard steps.

    Sherlock goes back to whatever he's doing on the computer and they sit quietly, a small calm in the eye of the tempest of raised voices around them.

    “I think the warning's over,” Sherlock says after a few minutes, snapping his laptop shut and clambering to his feet.“The storm wasn't strong enough for the tornado to last very long.” 

    John's knee protests a bit as he gets up and squeezes through the throng of his neighbors, following Sherlock back to his flat. 

    He ends up spending the night at John's, lying in an ungainly sprawl on the sofa. 

    “I play the violin.” Sherlock says out of the blue as John heads into his room.

    “You what?”

    “When I'm not working. Sometimes I like to play the violin.”

    “Oh,” John blinks at him and smiles. “Are you any good?”

    He hadn't previously been aware that someone could smirk modestly, but Sherlock was doing his best. “A bit.”

    “You ought to bring it over sometime; I'd like to hear you.”

    Sherlock clicks off the lamp on the side table. “Perhaps.” He turns on his phone after a moment, leaving his face lit by a faint blue glow.

    John grins to himself and heads off to bed. It's not been a bad night.

 

end.