It was night, it was dark, but people were not going to bed. No, far from it. In fact, people were wandering the streets. It wasn't just adults, it was kids, teenagers. It would have been odd on any other night.
Not that night.
No, it was Halloween and it was lovely! Brilliant! With costumes, candy, being out past bedtime (in the DARK, even!), and with the fun it was to run away from the group to get into some sort of adventure alone, it was the best night of the year.
To little John Watson, anyway.
Little John Watson was quiet. He was quiet, and he was kind, perfect, the amazingly well behaved six year-old that put nearly every other kid in town to shame. The other parents were jealous.
However, when Halloween hit, they were never jealous.
This cute, completely sweet-hearted, button-nosed little blonde-brown haired boy with the stubby little hands, athletic but not a show off, always caring for other people when they needed it (or at least trying) was a bloody horror when it came to Halloween.
Many people might say –well, isn't that the point of Halloween? To be bloody and horrifying? Not in this sense. He loved to run off; he loved to be gone far into the night; he loved to disguise himself and go on adventures. He'd turn back up at home covered in leaves, scratches, grass, mud, smiles – holding a huge bag of candy in one hand and a toy gun in the other.
He held in a giggle as he hid in the bushes, watching his father run straight past him with his little bumble bee of a sister Harriet in tow.
"Where has he gone off to, now?" said his father's annoyed tone. His mother walked by a second later.
"I'm sure one of the neighbors will find him. We live in a nice area, he'll be fine!"
He grinned at his mother and turned around, crawling through the bush and going off in the opposite direction. He found himself in a wood-type area. It was dark, but John wasn't scared. He was a cowboy. Cowboys weren't scared of anything – especially not with a pistol in hand. He ran through it, every so often making shot noises and pointing his gun into the woods behind him.
He was nearly where he wanted to go when he suddenly tripped over a very large, very solid object. He fell to the dirt with a loud thud and a snap of branches. He stayed still for a moment, wincing in pain, before pushing himself up and brushed the dirt and leaves off of his face. John turned around and saw a figure. He moved out of the way of the light.
It was a little boy. He was lying on the ground looking at the sky. Half of his face was covered by a white mask and he was wearing a cape. His dark hair was a tad long for boys, but he was fairly young, so his mother was very much in charge of his haircut. His eyes were blue and sharp, but his face was blank as he watched the sky.
"What are you doing?" John asked the little boy. He didn't answer, so John decided he would see for himself. He went down next to the boy, looking up at the sky. Nothing interesting was happening. He looked sideways and saw the boy was looking at him. "What are you doing?" John asked again.
The little boy was simply looking at him, face blank. John glanced up when the little boy looked back and a shooting star soared across the sky. John sat bolt up, pointing.
"Wow!" he exclaimed. "Did you see that?" He turned towards the boy only to see that he was gone. And so was John's bag of candy. John gave a gasp and jumped to his feet, looking around him. He heard running in the distance and took off in that direction. He caught up quite easily with the little boy when they reached the street, as his legs were longer, but the boy turned around a corner. John sped up and turned it only to run straight into the boy who had stopped running. They both fell to the ground. John scampered to his feet.
"Why did you steal my candy?" He was furious, his little hands clenched into fists. The little boy looked up at him curiously. He stood up and looked at the bag and then at his own, much more filled bag. He blinked up at John. John's anger ebbed away just a little bit, confused as to why the boy wasn't even slightly intimidated. "How old are you?"
"Quatre," the boy answered in a soft voice. John furrowed his little eyebrows. The little boy huffed, his cheeks puffing out, and held up four fingers. John's face lit up.
"Oh! What did you say?" The little boy gave John a very annoyed glare.
"Quatre," he repeated.
"Cool," John said, face beaming. "Does that mean four? Did you make that up? Your own made up language?" The little boy scoffed.
"It's French," he muttered, lifting John's bag onto his shoulder. John looked at it, alarmed.
"Hey, wait, that's mine, you can't have it." The little boy tilted his head slightly. He turned around, picking up his own bag, and began walking. John followed. "Could I have it back?"
He didn't get an answer. Instead, the boy walked and walked. John was sure he was simply walking back home – he would be able to convince the boy's mother that the bag was his and get it back. The boy walked up to a house and opened the door, holding it open for John. John blinked in surprise and walked in, followed by the boy.
The door closed and it was dark. John didn't move for a moment, but he felt his arm being pulled by a small hand and followed. He was led up what seemed like ten sets of stairs (but was only two, really) and to a window. The candy bags were placed on the floor and the little boy turned to John.
"What are we doing?"
The little boy took John's gun and pretended to load it, making a click noise. He handed it back to John and gave a devilish grin. John's face lit up. The little boy grabbed the smaller of the bags and ran out of the room, down the stairs.
"Stop, thief!" John yelled gleefully, running after him. The boy's laughter was heard throughout the empty house.
Minutes later, John was hiding behind a case, waiting for the little boy to enter the room. And enter he did, as it was a game and the game was no fun if he didn't get chased. John jumped out from behind the case.
"Pew pew pew!" he shouted, pointing the gun straight at the boy's head. The boy fell down, defeated, eyes open, jaw slack, body unmoving. John jumped around in celebration. "I win, I win!"
He giggled and moved forward, kneeling down next to the boy. He waited, but the boy didn't move. John frowned.
"Hey, get up, the game's over, I won."
Still, he didn't move.
"Hey, are you okay? Get up!" John shook the boy a bit, shaking a bit himself. He drew away and stared at the boy. He then looked down at the toy gun in his lap. I did this.
John's breath caught in his throat, his sight went blurry, and his chest tightened. He gave a horrible sniff and let out a few sobs.
"I-I-I'm sorry!" he wailed, falling onto the little boy's chest, shaking and crying. "I-I didn't bring m-my Band-Aids!" he sobbed, holding onto the little boy's shirt.
He felt a hand on his head and looked up to see the little boy's bright blue eyes widened with shock and looking right at him, blinking with surprise.
"Non, vacher," the little boy said, "I'm fine." John gave a loud sniff and sat up, wiping his eyes with both palms. When he looked up again, the boy was sitting in front of him, handing him candy from John's own bag. He took it and looked at it.
"That whole bag is mine," he said stubbornly. The boy hugged it close to him, looking away with a huff. "Well," John said after a second. "Could… We share, then? It's not really fair, I mean, I did spend all night collecting those candies…"
The little boy looked at the bag for a second. He got up and left, leaving John sitting there with a candy in his hand. He opened it and looked at it, then popped it into his mouth just in time for the little boy to be back with his own bag. He poured both bags on the ground and mixed them as best he could. He then divided them equally and put them into both bags. He handed John his bag and grinned at him.
"Oh, that's not fair!" John said, smiling. "You had more than me - you should keep your own!"
"You won, vacher!" the little boy stated, standing and fixing his cape. He then grinned and ran down the stairs. John giggled as he stood up and ran after him. As they reached what seemed to be a library type room, they heard the front door open. The little boy froze, but John kept giggling.
"Is someone there?" a voice of a young man called out, alarmed. John froze, smile falling from his face.
"I thought this was your house!" he whispered frantically at the little boy. The boy gave another devilish grin and opened the window, jumping out of it and landing catlike on his feet outside. John followed rather clumsily, but not before his neighbor saw his sheepish expression.
They bolted. John was annoyed, but after a second the little boy was giggling and John couldn't help himself. He began giggling and soon they were laughing and running.
The next second, however, there was a flash of light, and then the little boy was snatched up out of nowhere, as if he had just vanished. John stopped running and turned around. A boy a few years older than John was holding the little boy and the boy looked suddenly grumpy.
"I do apologise, but we must be going," the boy said in an oddly authoritative voice.
"What's your costume?" John asked.
"I don't have one," he replied. John frowned.
"You must do," he said, "It's Halloween! Come on, you look like… a lawyer? Are you a lawyer?"
"We really must be off," was his only reply, with a small smile, and he flung the little boy onto his shoulder and began to walk away. The boy looked at John.
"Bye, mon vacher!" he yelled out.
"Bye!" John yelled back, waving.
When John woke up that morning, it seemed to be a perfectly normal day in 221b.
It wasn't normal, though. It was Halloween. John sat up, rubbing at his neck and getting ready to go to work and go out to buy some candy to hand out on his way back.
The in-head planning was going rather well until his bedroom door burst open. John looked up and was shocked to see Sherlock.
Not because it was Sherlock, that wasn't even the slightest bit shocking, but because Sherlock was covered in make-up to look like a zombie.
"Christ!" John yelped. "You nearly gave me a heart attack! Could have at least waited until I was properly awake!"
"You're plenty awake. Get up; you have work in an hour."
"Why are you wearing a costume, exactly?"
"It's Halloween, we have a case tonight, we need to not look suspicious as we scamper about London this late. Of course, it would help if we had a kid, but no matter." Sherlock waved his hand, dismissing the thought. "You'll need a costume."
"Right," John said slowly. "I'll just… Go pick one up, then. Can I go as a doctor? That would be easiest."
"Boring," Sherlock deadpanned.
"A guy who really likes to wear jumpers?"
"John, really, come on. You could at least try to be creative."
"Okay," John said, pushing out his lip and thinking. "Oh! Got it, how about a vampire?"
"Don't give me that look – you're going as a zombie. It's just as overdone!"
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Do what you will, then. But I will be doing your make-up, so don't bother with that part. I suggest you buy the teeth that stick to your canines with putty, though, as the other teeth are rather painful to wear."
"You know an awful lot about this, don't you, Sherlock?"
Sherlock didn't answer as he swept out of the room.
When John finished his breakfast, it was already time for him to leave for work.
"I need you to get out of the clinic early today," Sherlock had said as he plucked at his violin when John was putting his coat on.
"It shouldn't be too busy today. Tonight, yeah, but I'm not working tonight."
"Good. Be back by six at the latest."
"Six? Christ, Sarah's gonna kill me…"
"Want me to handle it?"
"God, no! No, stay out of it – I… I have it."
He really had just been looking forward to a nice evening in watching horror movies and handing out candy. Sherlock hadn't given him a detail about the case. He heaved a sigh and left for work.
When he got back to the flat, it was ten minutes before six. It had been surprisingly light at work and Sarah was in a festive mood. She was happy, even, to let him off early. He smiled at the memory and sat down on a kitchen stool with a cup of tea to read his new book.
When Sherlock walked into the room, John couldn't help but raise an eyebrow from behind his book. His clothes were so ripped that it looked scandalous. If it weren't for the zombie make-up, John would have been extremely wary. Well, more so.
"Are we going to try to seduce someone?"
"What is it about today that's making you act more idiotic than normal?"
John simply rolled his eyes. He then saw the cloak Sherlock was wearing – torn. The scarf – bloody, torn.
"Uh, Sherlock, wow. I never thought you'd ruin your beloved coat for a costume."
"It's clearly not my normal coat, John. Go change into your costume before I dress you."
John heaved a sigh and left the kitchen. Five minutes later, Sherlock heard a yelp of laughter.
"What is it?" he called out.
"Nothing! Nothing at all!"
"Hurry up!" Sherlock snapped.
But when John finally came out of the room, Sherlock glared at him so fiercely that he could have caught fire. John was looking very amused in Sherlock's real cloak and scarf and a curly woman's black wig – mostly pulled back in a ponytail.
"Why do you have this?" John chuckled, adjusting the wig.
"Why are you wearing that?"
"You told me I had to dress as something scary," he retorted.
"You said you were going as a vampire!"
"You're scarier than a vampire."
Sherlock huffed and grabbed John's arm, dragging him into his room. He took the wig, the coat, and the scarf, and he shoved them back into his closet. John looked into the closet – it was bigger than Sherlock's own room.
"Is this the third bedroom?"
"No, John, this is quite clearly my closet."
"But had it been before?"
"Take off your shirt."
By the time Sherlock was done, John was extremely pale. He was wearing a long, fit coat, slick gloves, surprisingly comfortable, but tight, pants, and carrying a dagger tucked safely into a hilt in his belt, and his gun.
"What am I, then?" John asked, looking at himself. Sherlock put a hat on his head.
"You're a vampire hunter."
"You hated my idea that much?"
"Clearly. Let's go, John, we must be there at seven."
Soon, they were in the middle of a party. John was shocked at the size and at how Sherlock didn't even look slightly out of place. John kept close to Sherlock while Sherlock mingled loudly with people in the nearly rave party.
Next thing he knew, Sherlock had his arm and was dragging him out a back entrance of the building, following a woman dressed like a skimpy cop and a man dressed in extremely baggy clothes and lots of fake jewelry. They were in an alley way and John really had no clue why they were there.
"It's the building over by the chapel over there," the woman said as she pointed behind her, one hand on her hip.
"We know more," the man said in a sluggish voice.
Drunk, John thought, grimacing.
"How about if I give the two of you more money for drinks for tonight?" Sherlock suggested casually, flipping his wallet open and smiling tightly at them. The man's face lit up and the woman smiled widely.
"They said they were planning on going over to that house, but they didn't say when," the man said, staring at Sherlock's wallet.
"Yeah, but the guy said it in a real casual-like way, like his tone, so it sounded like he knew someone would show up. I think he'll be there around midnight, ta tell you the truth. He said he was ta stop by a party, but he didn't sound all that interested in it. Somethin might happen there, but nothing huge pertainin', I think."
"Right," Sherlock said, handing them both some cash. "Highly informative - though very inebriated - information. Thank you both."
"No, no! Thank you, mate," the man replied, grabbing the girl's arm and dragging her back into the party.
"Dare I ask," John said as he watched Sherlock fold his wallet up and put it back into his coat pocket. "Another of your homeless network…?"
"What makes you say that?" Sherlock asked, looking up and studying John's face with a hint of a smirk pulling at his lips. John shifted slightly and cleared his throat.
"Well, their hair, first off. Didn't exactly look clean. Neither of them had decent looking shoes, you know? And they looked like they couldn't afford their own costumes." Sherlock gave a huff of laughter.
"Good, John, very good. Wrong," Sherlock added, "but good, nonetheless."
"Oh, yes. They're not homeless. They're college students. On top of that, they only hardly get enough to pay for their rent. They wouldn't be able to pay for a night off like this on their own and I knew they knew the suspect. He's a teacher, you see. A professor somewhere in his late twenties with a hidden stutter that only comes out when he's caught off guard, to be specific."
"Ah, so they're from the same school that he works at?"
"Obviously, John, now come along," Sherlock said, grabbing John's arm and dragging him out of the alley way. They were soon running past trick-or-treaters and drunken teenagers, heading straight for the chapel.
They reached the front of the house and looked up at it.
"This place looks weirdly familiar," John muttered. Sherlock grinned for a second, rousing a look of confusion from John, before he approached the door with a lock-pick.
Once they quietly snuck into the building, they were trapped in darkness. Sherlock grabbed John's arm and brought him up two sets of stairs into a room near an open window.
"What are we doing?"
"Waiting," Sherlock replied.
They could see a decent amount of their surroundings, but John still searched for a light.
"Don't," Sherlock hissed. "Are you a complete moron? Did I not ask you this earlier? You are being moronic! Stop it or I will have to do something drastic."
"Something drastic? Oh, please, Sherlock, don't hurt me!" John mocked, rolling his eyes and adjusting the well-fit cloak he was wearing, taking out a closed beer he had put in a pocket. Sherlock gave him a hateful look before snatching the beer out of his hands. "Give it back."
"Sherlock, don't be childish," John snapped, grabbing for the beer, but Sherlock held it out of his reach.
"I'm not being childish. We're on a case and you shouldn't be drinking."
"One beer isn't going to get me drunk!"
"It easily could have been poisoned."
"No it couldn't have!"
Sherlock held the beer up to John's face and made him look at it.
"Someone could have easily injected something into this can with a needle, John."
"Oh, yes, I'm sure someone was just following me around waiting to drug me all night." John snatched for the can again, but Sherlock yanked it out of his reach. John nearly tackled him, reaching for it.
"I don't know why you want it so badly!" Sherlock snarled, trying to shove John off of him.
"Because you took it from me!"
"You don't need it!"
"I didn't! Now I do, thanks to you!" John said, nearly smacking Sherlock in the face with his efforts. Sherlock shoved him away suddenly and bolted out of the room. "Sherlock!" John hissed. He could hear Sherlock's snickering echo through the house slightly. He seethed and chased after him.
Minutes later, John was stubbornly hiding behind a shelf, waiting to catch Sherlock off guard. They were on a case; Sherlock had to come back to this room eventually. And he couldn't leave the beer around – it would be out of place and the people they were looking for would notice it for sure.
He oddly did catch Sherlock completely off guard when the time came. Sherlock walked into the room, sounding out of breath, and clutching the beer to his chest with both hands. John jumped out from behind the shelf and tackled him to the ground. Unfortunately, his head smacked rather hard against the floor. John picked up his beer and tucked it into his coat pocket again. He looked down in time to see Sherlock's eyes flutter closed.
"Sherlock?" John asked after a second. "Come on, now, that's not funny. Get up. Sherlock?" John gently lifted Sherlock's head very, very slightly and checked the back of his head. He drew his hand away- "Blood- you're blee- Oh, god, Sherlock. Fuck." He checked Sherlock over frantically. He seemed fine, other than a possible – no, probable concussion. John was furious with himself.
"I am so sorry, damn it, I'm so sorry, Sherlock, shit," he was whispering, looking around for something to put on the back of his head. He looked back. "Wake up, please, wake up, they're going to be here soon, right? Right, Sherlock, come on, motivation! There's a case, you don't sleep on a case! God, and you don't sleep with a concussion- wake up! Come on!" He nearly whimpered as he shook Sherlock.
"If you die because of something so absolutely stupid – a concussion over a stupid beer, for Christ's sake! – I will bring you back to life just to kill you again. No- wait- I didn't mean- Sherlock, come on," John whimpered, burying his head into Sherlock's chest. "I'm so stupid – I didn't even bring a first-aid kit, which is always needed around you, of course – God, Sherlock, I'm so sorry-"
"Non," came a hazed rumble. John sat up quickly when he felt a hand on his arm and looked at Sherlock. His blue eyes were open slightly, studying him in a dizzy sort of way. "Non, docteur, je v—I'm fine, I'm fine," Sherlock muttered, running a hand over his face. John sat back, taking a deep breath.
"I think you have a concussion. I didn't mean- I-"
"John," Sherlock said, pushing himself up and rubbing the back of his head (which had only bled for a bit, really) and turning towards him. "Listen, I'm fine. Look at me. I know what being concussed feels like. I'm okay, we're on a case, and it's not likely that I'm going to fall asleep any time soon."
"But you did," John pointed out.
"Yes, but I'm awake now. And you can have your-" Sherlock looked down only to see the beer was gone. "Oh." John took it out of his pocket. They both looked at it for a second before they burst out laughing. Suddenly, however, a door opened downstairs and a light flipped on. They stopped laughing immediately, the smiles falling from their faces.
"Who's there? Who is that?" the panicked voice of an older gentleman yelped.
"You blew our cover!" Sherlock hissed. John would have protested at any other time.
"Sherlock, that doesn't sound like a 'twenty something year old professor with a hidden stutter that only comes out when he's caught off guard.'" Sherlock didn't look at him. Instead he looked out the window. "Sherlock," John whispered slowly, quickly getting to his feet. "Is this even a case, or did you just drag me out on some Halloween adventure?"
Sherlock turned to him and gave a devilish grin before hopping gracefully out of the window. John swore and followed him, anxiously hoping the man didn't see him as he vanished around the corner, right on Sherlock's tail.
John was very annoyed. But the next minute, Sherlock gave a giggle, and he was soon full on laughing, quickly running out of breath in the process, and John couldn't help but join in. They slowed to a quick walk, both gasping a bit.
"You complete idiot, Sherlock," John gasped, laughing. Sherlock gave a chuckle.
"It must be rubbing off from you, mon veneur." John stopped walking for a moment, leaning on his knees and catching his breath while trying to stop his laughter.
"You know, this seems an awful lot like a Halloween I had once as a kid." John gave a laugh at this. "I swear - it could have nearly been counted as childhood romance, if the kid wasn't, what, two years younger than me? Not that that would matter at my age now, but-" John chuckled and pushed himself back up, still breathing heavily. Sherlock grinned at him.
"In fact," John continued, scratching his head, "Now that I think about it, you spoke French a few times tonight. That happened that night, too. And then," John gave a chuckle, "The kid's brother showed up, and he was—He-" John stopped laughing, brows furrowing. "He was very serious and…"
They looked at each other for about a minute. Sherlock was nearly snickering and John was staring in awe.
"Would you like to go back to the flat to hand out candy and drink your beer, mon vacher," Sherlock asked, taking a step forward. "Mon veneur," another step, placing him right in front of John. "Mon docteur?"
John didn't break eye contact when Sherlock put his hand under the hunter cloak onto his hips. He was awed, amazed, and impressed that Sherlock went through all of that just to have the night similar.
Sherlock smiled and leaned down, pressing his lips gently against John's. John could possibly have been more surprised. He was too in awe about the entire situation. Instead, instinct kicked in and his hands found Sherlock's hair, pulling him deeper into the kiss and rousing a growl from the zombie of a detective he was kissing.
They were both completely lost in the moment, the kiss fast and deep – Sherlock didn't pull away until he heard a whistle from some teenagers passing by. Sherlock looked at John, still sporting the awed look.
John looked around, but only saw teenagers. He looked towards the cameras and towards the houses and behind Sherlock.
"What are you doing?" Sherlock asked after a couple of seconds.
"Looking for Mycroft. I mean, he's bound to show up, isn't he?"
Sherlock gave a chuckle and grabbed his arm, dragging him back to 221b to put on scary movies and maybe even watch them eventually, if they felt up to it.