Chapter 1: Prologue: That One Day...
No one who was anyone went up to the door of 221B Baker’s Street. Unless one wanted to meet the end of their dignity at the hands of one Sherlock Holmes, a scything genius who scared more away with his degrading manner than welcomed them with his ingenious mind. It was here that Sherlock was placed by the hands of another Holmes. Mycroft Holmes, to be exact, the savant’s older brother. The well intentioned eldest had placed Sherlock far into the depths of the apartment to be watched over by the prudent Mrs. Hudson to keep him from the rest of the world. It was here that Sherlock lived and slept. He was permitted visitors deemed acceptable by Mycroft; however these people were sworn to secrecy. They could not utter a word of the intelligent Sherlock Holmes outside the apartment building. Many of them would only have uttered a curse with his name in the dining rooms of their own homes.
But Mycroft didn’t want people to know of the ugly creature that lay dormant in the home. It was too much for the world to bear and he loved his brother too much to have to watch him suffer as people pointed and jeered. Even if he loved with a strange kind of love that only the Holmes could possibly understand.
And it was London, England that the amiable Doctor John Watson settled into when he ceased his service to His Queen. He lived in a little apartment by himself and was a regular at the local library; he went there more to not feel so alone in the midst of the giant city.
It was here that people began to realize how exceptional of a man John Watson was. How strange he could be as well. He was quiet and kept mostly to himself, even in public. He walked with a slight limp due to the war which caused his footsteps to be heavy as he wandered down the stacks at the library. Doctor Watson was incredibly intelligent and he stood out at the local clinic where he a couple times a week. And he had one of the most observant eyes that some of the physicians had never seen before. People thought him a bit of an odd ball and did their best to just keep out of his way. John was frustrated with how lonely he was becoming and he was near ready to seek out an advertisement for a flat mate.
It was in this library that John was cornered by one Mycroft Holmes and given a choice. Either he could deal with a beast or he could face the law.
Chapter 2: Offerings
It was an early day for John as he awoke in his small flat located in London. He was covered in sweat (most likely from the terrors he had in the middle of the night) and his muscles were stiff with sleep. He sat up in the bed, throwing his trouser clad legs over the side of the mattress. He brought his arms upward, stretching out his torso, and let out a small groan as he tried his best to pull the drowsiness from his limbs. When he had held this position for a good length of time, he dropped his arms and his hands went to rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
After finishing his quick morning stretch, he arose from the bed and went to the desk that lay across from the small, unadorned room. He picked up his clothe from the surface, where he had placed them the night before, and stumbled off to the shower. His leg was paining him badly this morning and it was all he could do to keep from crawling to the bathroom. He soldiered on, however, and made it to the even small room. He undressed quickly and then showered.
Once he had cleaned and then dressed himself, he cleaned up the mess in his flat left from his laziness the evening before and made his way out to the small café at the end of the road. Every morning John repeated this same routine. He would go in and the waitress would already have his table prepared. Sometimes his coffee was prepared for him (black, no sugar) and his eggs and toast were steaming from their place on the plate.
John found comfort in this routine. It was another morning where the waitresses had his food waiting for him. He gave a nod to the girl who was behind the counter and hobbled, with the help of a cane, over to the square table located by the window. He gently lowered himself into the seat, placing his cane on the back of the chair. Settling into the wooden chair, he then picked up his coffee and took a sip of the strong bitter drink. With a sigh he mused over the taste and then placed it back on the table, turning next to his eggs.
Today was going to be a strange day in general for John, beginning with his regular visit to the diner. As the doctor was enjoying his eggs, two gentlemen came into through the door. They spotted John and made their way over to the single man.
“Doctor John Watson,” One greeted the man as a wide smile crossed his small lips. His hair was parted and slicked back, his dark eyes were large and watched everyone he passed by.
“James Moriarty,” John replied with less enthusiasm. “I see you’ve made some friends since the University.” John tipped his head toward the other man. He was tall but broadly built with wide shoulders and a long square face. He had dark beard that matched his thick black hair and bushy eyebrows. This man, however, had small blue eyes beneath his the masses of hair upon his forehead.
“This is Sebastian Moran,” Moriarty said with a larger smile as he slid into the seat across from John. “He’s become a good mate of mine.”
“What are you doing around these parts in London?” John asked after swallowing a forkful of his eggs. “I would have thought that you were in the ritzier part of the city.”
“I came to visit you,” He answered seedily, leaning closer to John. “I caught wind in certain circles that you were back from Afghanistan. I was wondering if you needed a job.”
“Do you even have one?” John answered brusquely. “Last I heard, people were cracking down on your position due to some chance of ‘unethical’ behavior.”
“People are stupid, John.” Moriarty answered. Moran stood beside the man and glared down at John. The broad gentleman gave John the shudders. “I’ve done nothing inherently wrong.”
“That’s what all criminals say.” John looked up from his breakfast.
“John, you’ve known me from our University days. You know that I just like to have a little…fun.” Moriarty answered with large, damp eyes.
“I suppose that is how you see it.” John replied with a grunt. “As it is, however, I have no need of a job yet.”
“If you do ever have need,” Moriarty looked John in the eyes, reaching into the lapel of his coat. “Please don’t hesitate to call. You’re a good man, John Watson, and I’d love to have you around.” Moriarty pulled a business card from his pocket and placed it on the table. He used his fingertips to push it toward the doctor.
“I’ll give it some thought.” John replied and accepted the card, pushing it roughly into his leather jacket. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, gentlemen,” John stood and took his cane in hand. He found that he wasn’t as hungry for breakfast as he thought. “I am on my way to the library.”
John made his way past Moran, who hadn’t said a word, and to the counter. He pulled the appropriate amount of money from his jeans pocket and placed it on the counter.
“You have a good day, John.” The waitress said and shot him a wink. John nodded his head absentmindedly. He then turned toward the door, happening to notice that neither Moran nor Moriarty had moved. As he placed his hand on the door knob, however, Moriarty took the liberty to speak up.
“John, you will work for me.” The man said without turning around. “I need you on my side and I need your intelligence on my…’team’.” He responded.
“I’m sorry, Jim, I just can’t right now.” John answered as he opened the door.
“Oh, but you will.” Moriarty turned and his dark eyes burrowed into John’s blue ones. John shuddered slightly and then quickly made his way out of the diner.
James Moriarty had been one of the most intelligent people at Saint Bartholomew’s, however, he was one of the biggest partiers and hooligans to ever
John Watson hobbled down the street, a stern look across his thin lips. The skies of London were cloudy as usual and the weatherman called for rain today on the telly. He sighed as he walked with a newspaper under one arm and an umbrella in his right hand. He didn’t want to get caught in a downpour this afternoon again and risk soaking the literature he procured from the library this afternoon.
John clambered up the steps of the great edifice and entered through the large wooden doors. He quickly made his way to the back of the library and settled into his usual desk and chair. He was reading up on a spree of bank robbers that had occurred recently, the coppers thought them to be completely unrelated but John’s instinct told him otherwise. Not that he could do much about it, he wasn’t the police and he wasn’t involved in the cases. All he had to go on were articles in the newspaper.
John sighed as he leaned back in the chair and opened the paper to the appropriate page. He glanced past an advertisement calling for the meeting of red headed gentlemen to be a part of a ground breaking new society.
“Gingers,” John said with the shake of his head and focused in on the article about the bank robberies.
He was reading in on the bit about the manager commenting on how the bank was going to be able to stand on its own after the recent robbing. John studied the black and white photograph and frowned. He pulled out the other clippings he had tucked in the folds of the paper.
“There has to be a connection,” John groaned with frustration as he looked down at the pictures.
“John Watson, I presume.” A voice came from the cubicle next to him. John’s head shot up and he looked to his left to see that a stout, tall man dressed to the nines was sitting beside him.
“I am. Sorry, but who are you?” He squinted trying to figure out if he had seen the man before.
He was tall with a long nose that was bulbous on the end. He wore the clothes of a politician but John couldn’t place his face to any of the parties or candidates in the past couple of elections. He held an umbrella under the curve of his left hand, the tip placed a couple inches to the side of him. He gave off the air of an old gentleman.
“That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you are getting awfully friendly in these robber cases.” The gentleman responded, folding his hands on the table before him. “Might I ask why that is?”
“Mere curiosity, I suppose.” John shrugged, his hands beginning to shake a little. He didn’t really want to be in trouble with the government. If he didn’t know who this man was, chances were if he went with him than he would most likely never return to London again. There were those secret departments of the government that no one spoke of aloud.
“An Army Doctor doing Police work? That is a bit strange. It also seems a bit more to me like obsession with the hours that you have been seen sitting in this institution pouring over mere article clippings.”
“I don’t think that is any of your business.” John answered. This man had hit a nerve and he was getting awfully upset about what John was doing. Keep it cool, just play it off as if you are just a curious amateur. John sat up straighter in the chair but refused to make eye contact with the man.
“I think it is, John. Why are you so interested in what these men have to do? I don’t suppose you would have any part in this?”
“What?” John retorted loudly, causing a glare from the librarian at the circulation counter. He couldn’t believe that this complete stranger was accusing him of robbing banks, of doing something he would never dream of. “What sort of chap do you think I am?”
“Quiet. Let us look at the data: Doctor John Watson, who has just returned from war, focuses in on a specific crime spree and insists in telling everyone that they are related.” The man shook his thinning head. “That doesn’t seem at all suspicious to you, Doctor?”
“Well if you put it into those words,” John said with a shudder but let out a small amused chuckle to try to play relaxed.
“You’re going to make people worry, John. And we don’t like when people worry.”
“I’m sorry, we?” John asked, inclining his head. “Who are you?”
“I cannot answer that for you now.” The man shot John a smirk. “But I can give you a proposition. I will not have my men take you in for interrogation,”
“Interro-what? I told you I haven’t done anything!”
“Or I can offer you a much better deal. See, I too know somebody who is awfully fascinated with crime. And he seems to be incredibly fascinated with this latest spree himself, keeps muttering that it might be a bunch of red headed men. I need someone to…help…him.”
“You came all the way into this library to tell me you want me to be someone’s assistant.”
“Now, John, don’t insult your intelligence. It isn’t just anyone’s assistant. This person is a bit…rough around the edges.” The man said with a stern look. He now fondled the head of his umbrella.
“Sounds like a real ray of sunshine.” John stood and the man shook his head.
“I wouldn’t walk away John when I am making you a deal. That is, unless, you wish to be speaking with a few more men including myself in a very uncomfortable position.”
John let out a sigh of defeat and ran his square fingers through his cropped sandy colored hair. He was growing less nervous and more frustrated as this stranger ran him in circles. “Why do you want me so badly? Can you at least tell me that?”
“Because you are intelligent and your career cries that you care for others. And it’s going to take a steel mind and a heart of gold to be in the position I am about to put you in.”
“You know the more you talk about it, the more lovely it sounds to be facing a firing squad and just have it done with.” John answered dryly. The gentleman gave a weak laugh. John rolled his murky green eyes and collapsed into the back of his chair in defeat.
“It might be a better fate, but London needs this mind awakened. And it’s all resting on you, John. If you wish to take it, of course.” The gentleman stared down his long nose at the doctor with judgment. It caused John to wiggle under the gaze.
“Right, with all the options you’ve given me.” John rolled his eyes as he tucked his newspaper clippings back into the paper that he recently folded. “I am in on your…secret weapon or whatever you sods wish to call this.”
“Brilliant,” The gentleman said with a smile. “I have already arranged for people to go and collect your things.”
“Right, of course you’d work quickly.” John said with a sigh. The gentleman stood up without a word and tucked his umbrella under his arm with a smirk. He began to walk away. John realized that he hadn’t even been told where he was being taken to.
“Yeah, where exactly are you taking me?” He called after the man.
“To Baker’s Street, apartment 221B.” The gentleman said with a smile after he turned and stood to face John. John looked down at it warily with his gray eyes and then took it. “It has been a pleasure having a chat with you, Doctor Watson. My name is Mycroft Holmes. And you’re about to meet your new flatmate- Sherlock Holmes himself.”
John Watson gulped audibly. For he had heard of Sherlock Holmes. And all the tales that were told were never very nice ones.
Chapter 3: The Brooding Storm
John hobbled down the street with his newspaper work above his head now. He certainly wouldn’t be needing all this precious work if he was going to be in the presence of a man like Sherlock Holmes.
The rain fell rhythmically against the newspaper he was doing his best to shield himself with as he was waiting for a cab to come by. It was awfully strange that none had passed yet. The only thing that was on this street, actually, was a long black car. It was on the other side of the road but John hadn’t dared go near it yet.
The rain began to pour harder upon the man’s head and finally he had to give in.
“Oh, sod it.” He growled as he ran across the street.
The door to the limo opened as if welcoming him in from the precipitation. John groaned as he figured this was one of those bad signs that one received to keep away from a situation.
He slipped into the car and found to his surprise, a woman sitting in the car on a mobile phone. She had long stockinged legs shod in skinny black high heels that kept her knees much higher than her waist. She was wearing a tight black dress with a black fashion raincoat buttoned to her chin. She kept her eyes down, reading the screen of the device as it vibrated in her perfectly manicured hands ever couple seconds. She wore no bracelets, in fact the only jewelry she had on were small pearl earrings which stood out among her dark curls.
“Yeah, uh, name’s John Watson.” John said with a start as she had not begun conversation. The door had been shut and the driver had taken off.
“I know who you are.” She responded. John placed his hands clasped between his knees and stared forward, waiting for her to continue. He was surprised when she didn’t.
“Uhm, right. Am I going to get your name by any chance?” He asked.
The woman’s eyes flitted upward for a mere second and John could see that she had deep blue eyes. “You can call me Phillipa.”
“I should assume that isn’t a real name?” John asked hesitantly. He was more disturbed by the cold front she was giving him than by the fact that he had gotten into a strange car that was taking him God knew where.
All the woman did in response was smile.
“Yeah,” John answered nervously and cleared his throat. He tried to give a glance out the window but they were darkened.
“I know where I am going, so what’s the deal with the tinted glass?” He tapped on it with his left index knuckle.
“I don’t give orders.” The girl he would call Phillipa answered innocently.
“Of course, that would be too easy. Giving me straight answers would make this less of a get off for Mycroft, wouldn’t it?” John slouched in the seat.
“Perhaps.” Was all Phillipa said.
John decided that he might as well give up, seeing as any try at getting information from her was going to be fruitless.
“Can you tell me one thing?” John asked after a couple seconds of maddening silence.
She looked up from the mobile in her hand, glancing beneath her eyelashes over at him as if to say, Go on.
“Are you kept in the dark about the answers or are you just refusing to tell me?” John sat up a bit straighter in his chair, trying to peer over her shoulder to get a glimpse of the screen.
“Perhaps.” Was all the woman said.
John gave a growl of indignation under his breath and rested his temple against the side of the car. He closed his eyes for a mere second, he was tired and if the ride was going to be long-
“Doctor Watson. Doctor Watson.” Came Phillipa’s voice.
John sat up hurriedly, feeling his round face. He could feel the indentations of the shape of the car’s door frame in the flesh of his cheek.
“Huh? What is it?” He said as he collected his surroundings. The car had stopped moving, or at least it felt like it had stopped moving.
“We’re here, Doctor Watson.” Phillipa replied.
John turned to look out the window and found that it had been rolled down. Across the way was a row of several storied flats.
“I suppose this is the end of the line for me.” John said and sat upright. He inhaled loudly through his nose, groaning as he stretched away the sleep that he had succumbed to in the car.
After he shook some of the grogginess from his body, he turned and held out his hand to Phillipa.
“It was nice to meet you,” He said pleasantly. Phillipa looked at his rough hand with her ocean blue eyes before finally taking it daintily in her own soft curved grip.
“Good bye, Doctor John Watson.” She said apathetically. John nodded his head, gathering himself to head out of the car door and into the door of the flat across the way. The door read 221B.
He put his foot out the car door and gently stepped into the damp street. The pavement still dark and covered with puddles from the afternoon shower. John took in a lungful of fresh air as he stepped out as well.
I should wonder if I’ll ever see the sun again? He thought to himself. “Oh, John, don’t be such a dramatist.” He corrected himself under his breath.
“Doctor Watson,” He heard Phillipa’s voice, pausing him in his shutting of the black car door.
He leaned over and saw her sitting elegantly as she had been the entire ride. However, her mobile was now lowered into her lap.
“Good luck.” She said as her stunning eyes met his. He saw sincerity in them. All he could do was let out a grim smile and a small nod of the head. He then erected himself and shut the car door.
The gesture of fortune from the proper lady made John’s heart drop a little. If someone so detached were to wish him a fond farewell, what could he have been thrown into?
John decided it was probably best to just cross the street and get to it. He grabbed the hem of his leather jacket and pulled, his security in the moment was barricading himself with the coat. He then set out a brave right foot into the road, mustering up the courage to walk across.
He made it across the street and up the stairs in what seemed like hours, but couldn’t be a minute at best. Carefully, he stopped before the deep brown door and raised his knuckle to knock on the dark wood. But before his skin ever hit the portal, it swung open of what seemed its own accord.
John took a hesitant step into the flat and into the foyer. He saw a flight of stairs leading upward, ahead was another door. This one read 221A.
“Hello?” John called out as he made his way to the first flight of steps. He realized that B had to be located on the second floor. “Anyone in here?”
Nervously he made his way up the stairs and onto the short hall of the second story. Another flight led to the final floor.
The door to the 221B was open and he noticed the place was a disaster. The couches were well worn and had blankets strewn upon them. A skull perched upon the mantel. Books lined the fireplace as well covered the tables and stacked on the floor. The place smelled of must and chemicals, John found himself bringing his fingers to his nose for half a second.
He entered the flat and was drawn to look at a yellow smiley face drawn on the damask wallpaper. It had several bullet holes in them. “Blimey. I’m at the hands of a deranged, cantankerous, armed man as well.”
Something in the corner moved and it startled him. John whipped to where the source of the movement was.
There sat the most alarming sight John had ever seen (which, having days in combat was actually saying a lot in the life of Doctor John Watson). A man was sitting wrapped in a white bed sheet. John was praying that he at least had the decency to put a pair of knickers on but he was afraid to ask.
The man sat with his eyes closed, a mass of curly black hair atop his oval face. He had a long nose with rather large nostrils, weak chin, and impressive cheek bones. He sat unhumanly still, his legs drawn up under his body. John could see that he had an extremely pale complexion all over; his chest could be seen in the deep v wrap of the sheet. It was nearly the color of the man’s only covering. His eyes were medium sized beneath his large dark eyebrows. Staring at him, John could almost say there was an aire of elegance about the man. In fact, he was almost catlike.
“What are you doing in my flat?” The man spoke suddenly and John jumped back in fright at the deep sudden voice.
“You- you must be Sherlock Holmes then. I’m Doctor John-“ John replied stepping forward.
“I didn’t ask who you were. I asked what you are doing here.” Sherlock replied, opening one of his eyes to reveal a pale gray green orb with a very constricted pupil. “And I know very much who I am, thank you.”
“Of course you do, you’re bloody Sherlock Holmes.” John muttered sarcastically.
Sherlock opened the other cat like eye now and stared John down. “I will repeat myself only once more: who are you?”
“John Watson. Well, Doctor John Watson. So Mycroft told me nothing about you?” John said as he took a step toward the man.
“I know you are a doctor, John Watson. And it could be very possible that my brother did indeed tell me. I deleted all his text messages.” Sherlock responded, still staying impossibly still. It made John fidgety just looking at his stillness.”He also had his mighty men bring in all your belongings. Which, I suggest that you take out of the spare room as soon as you can.”
“I have the impression that the option isn’t really open.” John replied with a laugh. Sherlock’s mouth stayed in its straight line as he glared at John with his pale eyes. “Mycroft told me that I have no other option but to stay in this flat with you, Mr. Holmes.”
“My idiot brother thinks that I need an assistant on a case.” Sherlock began
“You’re br-brother…?” John interrupted, stuttering with disbelief.
Sherlock spoke over John with a growl. “Which, I assure you I do not.”
“I didn’t come to stomp all over your pride.” John held up his hands. Sherlock kept sitting and John sighed. “Is there any way I could get some lunch?”
The click of heels could be heard vibrating through the halls of the flat and John turned to see a petite, thin woman entering the room. She had kitchen towels in her hands and a smile across her laugh lined face.
“Why Sherlock, this must be your new flat mate that Mycroft’s gone out and found for you.” She said cheerful.
John looked at her a bit deflated. He felt that these two saw him more as a pet that Mycroft Holmes had brought back from the pet store for Sherlock. But, he supposed that was exactly his purpose.
“My name is Mrs. Hudson,” She said with a smile as she came up to John with an outstretched hand. John reached out and shook her leathery, soft hands with a firm grip. “Oh, you’re one with a good hold.” She said with a wink. “Don’t mind Sherlock’s grumpy attitude. He’s a bit stuck on a case.”
“I am not, Mrs. Hudson!” Sherlock’s head jerked to look over at the woman.
“Oh Sherlock, go put a pair of trousers on. Really, at my age I don’t want to be seeing you walk around in the buff.” She said with a shake of her head.
“It’s perfectly alright, Mrs. Hudson.” John said with a friendly smile.
“Oh, look at me. Already informing you about Sherlock’s grouchy tendencies and I don’t even know your name.” She said with a laugh.
“I’m John Watson.” He offered his name.
“Well, welcome to 221, Mr. John Watson.” Mrs. Hudson said enthusiastically.
“Doctor,” Sherlock’s gruff voice came from across the room and both of them turned to look at him. He was looking out the window, his body now shifted.
“Pardon?” Mrs. Hudson said with a small eye roll.
“Mrs. Hudson, he is clearly a doctor.” Sherlock responded.
“Oh, a medical man! Well, I am sure that Sherlock will tell you all about his clever way of knowing that but my own brain’s taken a bit too much of that of late. If you need anything I will be downstairs.” She said with a smile. “And if you be needing something for dinner please do come down and visit me. Even if you aren’t hungry.” She said with a glance toward Sherlock. “Are you going to eat any time soon, Sherlock?” Mrs. Hudson asked.
“It’s too distracting.” He responded and threw himself back onto the sofa that he was sitting on. John watched his juvenile behavior. “I don’t have time to waste precious energy on eating, Mrs. Hudson, when I have a case that needs to be thought about.”
“If you change your mind my door is always open.” She said flatly.
“I think I’ll join you downstairs, Mrs. Hudson,” John responded. “I feel a bit puckish.”
“Of course, love.” Mrs. Hudson said and reached up to pat his cheek. “Why don’t you finish getting settled in and come down when you’re ready.”
John glanced over to Sherlock who was now curled up into a fetal position on the couch.
“Which way is-“
“Down the hall on your left.” Sherlock growled from his curled position on the couch, answering John’s question before he had even finished it.
“Erm thanks.” John responded and headed down the hall quickly to get out from underneath the brooding detective’s storm.
Chapter 4: Merry Mrs. Hudson
Mycroft had done as he had promised. All of the things that John owned were in this small apartment room and it was put away. John was a little surprised at the sight of this and he gently hobbled over to the bed. He sat down on the textured quilt and rested his hands on his knees. His world was spinning out of control, worse than when he had come home from war without any place to stay. Now he was stuck in this apartment all because he had stuck his nose into something that wasn’t as big a deal as he was making it.
After collecting himself, John stood and took off his coat. It was cold in the flat and he found himself crossing to the closet to find out where his cable knit sweaters had been put. He found one in the recesses of the storage area and pulled it on over his gray tee shirt. After smoothing it down over his torso, he made his way out of the room quietly. He was trying his best not to arouse Sherlock from whatever mental state he was in currently. At least, he hoped it was currently. If Sherlock was like this all the time, it would drive John absolutely bonkers.
He slid into the main room and found that it was empty. Sherlock had removed himself from the couch. All that lay on the sofa, much to John’s horror, was the white sheet he had wrapped himself in. Making best of the time that he had with no one in the room, John made his way across to the door and opened it. He then hobbled down the stairs as quickly as he could. With heaving gasps caused by his quick exertion, he made his way down the hall to Mrs. Hudson’s flat.
“Come on in, love,” He heard her matronly voice beckoning to him. “You sound like a herd of elephants traipsing about upstairs.”
John reached the oak wood door which was ajar and slipped into the flat. It was warm and welcoming, the smell of tea and fresh pastries twirled in a symphony as they permeated the air. John felt his stomach growl as he realized he hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
“You can take a seat at the table. I am sure you’re hungry, poor thing.” Mrs. Hudson’s voice came from the furthest room.
John surveyed the room he had come into and found that it was a sitting room. It was neat, the love seat had blankets folded over its arms. The throw pillows were tucked into appropriate places and several posh magazines were stacked on the coffee table. There was a padded pale pink wingback next to the matching loveseat that had a worn out pillow and quilt folded up on the seat cushion.
John found the place to be quite soothing and it was a welcome from the mad house that was upstairs.
“You’ll have to forgive Sherlock.” Mrs. Hudson said from the other room. John began making his way toward the back of the flat, looking at the pictures that Mrs. Hudson had lining the walls. Some were of older people with arms around each other, smiling as they stood in sunnier places. Some were of small children that were enjoying a good laugh outside as they ran ‘round with a wagon through a manicured lawn. John smiled at the domestic scenes.
“He doesn’t have many visitors.” Mrs. Hudson continued. John made his way through the hall into the room which was a small kitchen. “In fact, I don’t think he’s had one in nearly a year. The coppers usually phone him.” She said and gestured for him to take a seat at a square table in the corner. “It’s a shame really. I think he’d do much better with friends.”
“How long have you worked for Sherlock?” John asked as he made his way across the kitchen. Stiffly, he sunk into one of the wooden chairs.
“It’s been nearly 3 years now. Ever since he was sent to come live at this place after that- well after that awful incident all those years ago. It’s just me and him most of the time, sometimes Mycroft comes and stops in. Not a very warm chap, I can tell you that much.” Mrs. Hudson responded from the counter of which she was standing in front of. “Sugar and milk?”
“Yes please, thank you.” John replied and watched as she turned, a saucer balancing a tea cup in her weathered hands. “Sorry, so you said there was an incident that sent Sherlock to…well this is a sort of house arrest, isn’t it?”
“I suppose one could call it that.” Mrs. Hudson responded. “He doesn’t really mean to be a sourpuss. He’s a real sweetheart inside. He just doesn’t put his proper foot forward.”
“I’m sure.” John said, taking the cup from her and placing it and its saucer on the table. “Now, the incident, Mrs. Hudson-“
“Oh, I’ve said too much as it is.” She responded and turned back to the counter. “Sherlock will have to tell you that one himself I am afraid.” John groaned in frustration.
“It’s really not all the fuss that everyone makes it out to be. Just a misunderstanding.” Mrs. Hudson waved her hand casually.
John realized he was really going to be getting of the answers he wanted tonight. “Three years is a long time,” He tried to skate around the unanswered question.
“He’s a great man,” Mrs. Hudson said with a sad smile. “He just puts himself in these situations where he lets his knowledge get the better half of him.” She said as she turned back to the table with a plate of food. “I am sorry it took so long to get this to you. I didn’t hear you come in the door.” She chuckled.
John found it odd since he had called out asking for anyone’s presence. But he let it go and quickly turned to the food that was before him. A leg of chicken along with a biscuit and some potatoes sat on the plate. His stomach growled with need. “Thank you so much for your hospitality, Mrs. Hudson.” John said as he took the napkin she held out to him and placed it on his lap. She quickly handed him cutlery and smiled.
“Of course, dear. Now, I have a few things that I need get done. You just finish your dinner and if you need anything just shout.” She smiled and headed out of the room.
John eagerly began to eat his food, his stomach screaming as his body processed its aroma. Forgetting what was going on in that moment, John enjoyed his first meal in his new home of 221B Baker Street.