They’re in New York, of all places, investigating a murder. John’s not quite sure why — Sherlock had been quite vague, which usually means Mycroft’s bullied him into a case.
It turns out that Sherlock somehow has an in with the NYPD, and he argues with a bloke named Gregson and another named Abreu before wrangling his way into the crime scene; John, on the other hand, is emphatically denied permission to enter. “I’ll be fine,” he tells Sherlock. “Go solve a murder.”
He’s standing on the street with his hands tucked in his pockets when he notices a gorgeous woman with cheekbones to rival Sherlock’s walking his way. John can’t help but stare as she pulls nearer. “Hello,” he says, not bothering to disguise the note of appreciation in his voice.
The woman gives him a wholly unimpressed look. “Hi,” she says shortly, peering past the crime scene tape. “Hey, Javier!” she calls. “Is Holmes around?”
“Holmes?” John starts. “Sherlock Holmes?”
She turns slowly. “What’s he done now?” she sighs. “Don’t take it personally. Whatever it is, he does it to everyone.”
“Sorry?” John asks, confused. “How do you know—”
“Joan!” Just then, Detective Abreu comes out. “Great, you’re here. Prince Charles give you the slip?”
“Yeah, he does that sometimes.” She rolls her eyes, but her tone is fond. “I think he just wants to prove he can do it. But he did skip this morning’s test, so—”
“Wait, we are talking about Sherlock Holmes?” John asks them both. “From London, tall, likes to deduce things?”
“Yes,” the woman — Joan — says, at the same moment Detective Abreu says, “Oh, right, you’re with the other guy.”
“What?” Joan asks, forehead wrinkled in puzzlement.
“Someone decided one Sherlock Holmes wasn’t enough, I guess,” Detective Abreu shrugs. “So now we have two.”
“I’m confused,” Joan says.
“Yeah, me too,” John says.
“Just look.” Detective Abreu hooks a thumb behind him, and John watches Sherlock come out the door talking animatedly with someone. “—on the roof?” John hears the tail end of a question.
“Yes,” the other man grins. “Over the years, I’ve made a few observations on the segregation of the queen and its effects on honey production.”
“I have wondered about that,” Sherlock says thoughtfully, and then looks down in surprise as Joan stalks over to the other man.
“Open your mouth,” she says, reaching into the purse.
“Watson, this is rather unnecessary—” the man protests, before he’s muffled by her swiping a swab around his mouth.
“I decide when it’s unnecessary,” she informs him, dropping the strip into a cup and smiling in satisfaction when nothing happens. “In the meantime, stop going off on your own, okay?”
Sherlock, for his part, has wandered over to John. “Bees, John,” he says, eyes shining. “On the roof!”
“No, no, no,” John says immediately. “You can’t keep bees on our roof.”
“My American counterpart does,” he says, scowling. “He has no problems with them.”
His American counterpart?
“Well, honey dripping down the ceiling sometimes,” Joan corrects. “It’s not the greatest idea, honestly.”
“You like the bees, Watson,” the other man says. “Don’t deny it.”
“Right, hang on,” John says. “Can we have some introductions here? I’m John.”
“Joan,” she says.
“Sherlock Holmes,” the other two men say in unison.
John rubs at the bridge of his nose. “So your name’s ‘Sherlock’, too?”
“It’s a family name,” the other Sherlock sighs. “I believe we’re distantly related, in fact.”
“It’s possible,” Sherlock — his Sherlock — shrugs. “I’ve deleted the relevant information.”
“We’re going to have a talk about you deleting things,” John warns. “Really, how can you ever decide what’s going to end up being useful?”
“Sorry, are we done here?” Joan asks. “Because I’d like to not stand around a house where a man has been murdered.”
“It wasn’t murder,” both Sherlocks reply. “Accidental death—”
“—due to gross negligence of maintenance.”
“Not worth my time.”
“Mr Holmes, for his part, would like to observe my apiary.”
“All right, we should get going, then,” Joan shrugs, starting down the street. Her Sherlock moves to follow.
John and Sherlock trail a bit behind; John contemplates the best way to ask Joan out to dinner. “Don’t be ridiculous, John,” Sherlock mutters as he follows John’s line of sight. “You’re definitely not her type.”
“No, you’re not,” Joan tosses behind her without even looking back. “Sorry.”
But she doesn’t sound sorry at all, and John can’t help but to shake his head with a grin.