19 days prior
John Watson learns a valuable lesson about promising to take Sherlock Holmes to see cows. It is not something one should do flippantly, nor should one expect to go long periods of time without being reminded of said promise. Or short periods of time, really.
18 days prior
For his part, Sherlock has been very careful not to get himself killed before the trip takes place. This involves avoiding a hastily-constructed death maze that he probably could have made it through with his eyes closed, not jumping off a bridge after a human trafficker, and turning down a game of Russian Roulette with a German skinhead who was too clever for his own good. That last one still keeps Sherlock up at night, rerunning the entire event in his brain; he is sure he would have won. All this for the chance to go on a special trip, just him and John. Today Sherlock deigns to wear safety goggles even though he has to get up off his stool and walk halfway across the room to reach them.
15 days prior
John chooses a random day on the calendar and marks it with a yellow post-it note. John feels a month and a half seems like a good amount of time between trips. Sherlock disagrees.
13 days prior
The post-it note reading “cows” moves up a week. John does not notice.
12 days prior
The post-it note reading “cows” moves up a week. John does not notice.
11 days prior
The post-it note reading “cows” moves up a week. John notices.
The post-it note reading “cows” moves down a month. Sherlock notices.
10 days prior
The post-it note reading “cows” moves up to the current day. John notices because he has specifically checked the wall calendar to see where the note has moved. Sherlock finds “cows” stuck on December 31st. He adds an exclamation point and moves it back to the current day after John goes to bed.
9 days prior
There are bits of torn up yellow paper on the table. If one were careful to reconstruct it, they would find it read “cows!”
8 days prior
John finds a yellow post-it note reading “cows!” stuck in his shoe in the morning.
7 days prior
John finds a yellow post-it note reading “cows!” in his locked desk drawer.
6 days prior
John finds a yellow post-it note reading “cows!” in his medicine cabinet. It has been laminated and is floating in the rubbing alcohol.
5 days prior
John finds a yellow post-it note reading “cows!” stuck to the ceiling above his bed. It actually takes him until bedtime to notice it.
4 days prior
John finds a yellow post-it note at the bottom of his mug of tea. It might have read “cows!” but it is hard to read a note that has been submerged in tea for any length of time. Oddly enough, before John notices the note, he is thinking about how great the tea tastes this morning.
3 days prior
John finds a yellow post-it note reading “cows!” between two slices of bread while making toast. After Sherlock has passed out on the sofa, John gathers up all writing instruments and post-it notes he can unearth. He discovers a large cache of them in Sherlock’s room stuffed in a sock under the bed. He also takes the jumper he found under there, just on principle and because it belongs to him.
2 days prior
No notes are found.
1 day prior
No notes are found. Had John been more perceptive, he would have noticed the shower door had the faint tracing of “COWS!” left unfogged on the glass. He did not notice.
4 hours and 22 minutes prior
John wakes up and finds no notes. He checks the entire flat and turns up nothing. After three days of not finding any notes, John is starting to feel paranoid. While brushing his teeth, John happens to glace up and finds that “COWS!” has been written across his face in marker.
4 hours and 21 minutes prior
While scrubbing marker from his face, John notices that the word was written backward so it could be clearly read in a mirror. He mentally gives Sherlock an extra point for his attention to detail.
3 hours and 57 minutes prior
Sherlock is sprawled across the coffee table when John comes in and tells him it is finally the day of the cow trip. Both men are aware the actual chosen date is still a month off, but neither point that out. Sherlock rolls off the table and makes it to his room in a single fluid motion that could likely only be duplicated by an Olympian athlete.
3 hours and 56 minutes prior
John’s phone goes off in his room, but by the time he gets to it, the phone has just pinged to notify of a new voicemail.
3 hours and 55 minutes prior
John is so embarrassed he is rendered temporarily unable to leave his room. The voicemail from Mycroft congratulated John on his and Sherlock’s first trip together and informed him a car with a large back seat and no driver would be parked outside in 20 minutes time. He deletes the message immediately and calms himself with thoughts of keying the car. He takes a moment to wonder what makes everyone assume he and Sherlock are dating and how he can put an end to it.
3 hours and 52 minutes prior
Sherlock is waiting by the door.
3 hours and 50 minutes prior
Sherlock is still waiting by the door. John is in the kitchen making tea.
3 hours and 48 minutes prior
Sherlock is lying across the floor dramatically. John is casually adding milk to his tea.
3 hours and 47 minutes prior
Sherlock is sighing dramatically and, if possible, taking up even more room on the floor. John is sipping his tea.
3 hours and 32 minutes prior
The floor is Sherlock-free. The coffee table is Sherlock-free. The sofa is Sherlock-free. There are the occasional thump or muffled crash coming from Sherlock’s bedroom. John had patiently ignored the Sherlock-sized tantrum Sherlock seemed to think will hurry things along. After he finished his tea, John had informed Sherlock that they were leaving at noon and not a minute earlier. Sherlock was not pleased.
1 hour and 7 minutes prior
John heads up to his room to pack. It is going to be a day trip, but when you are with Sherlock it is always best to be prepared. He grabs a change of clothes and a toothbrush.
1 hour and 6 minutes prior
As an afterthought, he grabs a towel, too.
49 minutes prior
Sherlock is standing by the door holding a large duffel bag and looking rather lumpy. John is frowning.
36 minutes prior
John has just finished going through Sherlock’s bag. John vetoes the scalpel and hack saw, but after a moment’s thought, allows the syringes and heavy rope. John stands and moves to give Sherlock a pat-down. Sherlock jumps back and dashes off to his room a bit unbalanced by whatever he is hiding. At this point, John does not even want to know, but he could not help noticing one of the shapes looks like a large mallet and another one looks like his gun. No idea what the round puffy bit on the left side is, but John would be willing to wager it isn’t a pillow.
34 minutes prior
Sherlock emerges from his room moments later looking significantly less lumpy. John moves to frisk him and again Sherlock dashes back into his room. Apparently he had not expected John to actually give him a pat down.
33 minutes prior
It takes Sherlock only a moment to remove whatever he was hiding, and this time he willingly submits to a thorough search.
30 minutes prior
After John decides Sherlock is contraband-free, they head down to the street. Sherlock’s annoyance at being searched is softened by the knowledge that they are leaving a whole 30 minutes before John said they would.
29 minutes prior
Sherlock freezes when he sees the long black car. He has his chin down and is pouting slightly as he looks at it, mad at Mycroft’s intrusion into their trip. John give an impressed whistle and receives a Sherlock glare in return.
9 minutes prior
John has finally talked Sherlock into the car; Sherlock finally deciding that he had not skipped playing Russian roulette just to not go on this trip.
6 minutes prior
John is happy about not having to rent a car until he opens the back seat to throw his and Sherlock’s bag in. The back seat contains some painfully embarrassing items, inluding but not limited to three bottles of wine, a box of condoms, and a large quantity of rose petals. John decides that he will not be thanking Mycroft for the use of his car after all. And perhaps make sure the car returns with a lot of scratches and dents.
1 minutes prior
The keys take a few minutes to find. Mostly because John refuses to ask Sherlock until he’s looked properly. Once asked, Sherlock gets the keys out of the glove box straight away and the trip can begin. To Sherlock’s disappointment, it is exactly noon.