“Magic?” He snorted and looked at the man next to him. “Yeah, right.”
The Doctor waggled his eyebrows and Sherlock watched as Amy stifled a giggle. It was Amy’s birthday and the Doctor had gone all out, taking them on a whirlwind tour of various spots in the universe and across time that Amy wanted to see, and somehow they had ended up in 1920s Australia. Amy was totally enamoured with the time and the place, and Sherlock had to admit there was a lot to be impressed by in Melbourne, but he had other ideas for how he wanted to spend the evening instead of at Mackenzie's Cavalcade of Mysteries. But the Doctor had insisted there would be something to entertain him there as well. “Sherlock, I promise, you will enjoy it,” the man said, adjusting the bow tie that went with the dapper suit he was wearing. It wasn’t quite the same outfit he normally wore; he was making an effort to blend in, it seemed. Sherlock wondered why.
Amy sidled up to him, looking magnificent in a turquoise green dress with a V-neck that came down to the knees with embroidered leaf and flower beading all over it and cream T-strap pumps on. Her hair was elaborately styled and personally he thought she looked lovely and wanted to ravish her, not share her with the world, but he’d been outvoted. She slipped her arm into his and looked up at him. “Sherlock, it’s just one night, and it’s my birthday to boot,” she said, tracing small patterns on his arm with her fingers. “And besides, you can tell me all about how the miraculous mermaid act really works. I’m sure you had a phase where you wanted to be a magician, didn’t you?”
He tilted his head slightly. She really did know him well. “Briefly, after my pirate phase and before I decided I wanted to be a consulting detective full time.”
“And you studied all of Houdini’s tricks?” the Doctor asked with a smile.
Sherlock nodded. “All of them. I could probably perform them almost as well as he could, given the chance.”
“Then I think you’ll work this out quite well,” the Doctor said. He went to Amy’s other side and offered her his arm as well. She turned and gave him a wide smile and then she took his arm. “Shall we, then?”
“Yes,” she said with a nod. And with that, the three of them made their way to the theatre. They were almost there when Amy stopped, seeing someone telling fortunes. She let go of the men and then went over. “Oh, I’d love to have my fortune read!”
“It’s two shillings a person,” the woman at the table said, looking up at her with a smile.
The Doctor fished around in his pockets and pulled out enough money for two fortunes. Sherlock raised an eyebrow. “You as well?” he asked.
The Doctor shook his head. “I learned long ago never to have anyone try and tell me what was coming for me. No, it’s for you.”
Sherlock scoffed at that. “Magic and fortune telling? Waste of money.”
“Humour me,” Amy said, giving Sherlock a look that as half ‘don’t spoil my evening for me’ and half ‘if you do it I’ll reward you later.’
Sherlock looked at her and sighed. “Very well,” he said after a moment, watching as the women took the money and put it in a lockbox. “What type of ‘fortune telling’ do you do, Miss…?”
“Callahan,” the woman said. “Eva Callahan. I do palm reading.”
Sherlock suppressed another scoff. “I see,” he said in a tight tone.
Amy looked over at her. “Do you have a preference for hands?”
Eva shook her head. “No preference.” Amy held out her left hand and Eva grasped it in both of hers for a moment before taking a hand and stroking it along her palm. “You have a very adventurous life,” she said. “A very complicated one, with many travels that take you to many places. There is always a bit of home with you, though. And you have many years of happiness ahead of you. Don’t lose your bit of home, though. Dire things could happen if you lose your bit of home.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Gibberish. Rubbish,” he said quietly.
“I see you doubt my gift,” Eva said.
“I’m a skeptic,” Sherlock said.
“Then I will make you a deal. If you feel there’s no truth to your reading, I will give you your money back. For both of your readings. But if there is truth…I keep your money.”
“What if I lie?” Sherlock asked, crossing his arms.
“Don’t lie,” Amy said, elbowing him in the side. He turned to her and glared, but then uncrossed his arms and gave his right hand to Eva.
“You’ve been hurt. Deeply,” she said. “You’ve built up a wall around your heart. Built a palace in your mind. But this woman…she’s breached both. You are her home, and she is yours.” She pulled his hand closer. “You have a question to ask her tonight, a very important one. A life changing one.” And then her eyes widened and she pushed his hand away. She quickly opened the lockbox and got the money back, pressing it into his hand. “Here. Take it.”
“But…” he said, his own eyes growing a bit wider in confusion.
“No more readings tonight,” she said. “I need…I need to get ready.” She closed the lockbox and then picked it up, hurriedly leaving the table and heading inside the theatre.
“What was that all about?” Amy asked, looking over at Sherlock.
He looked down at the money in his hand. “No idea,” he replied, closing his hand over the coins. He had been about to tell her he believed her. No one knew about the ring he had hidden in the nightstand of his room on board the TARDIS, the ring he was waiting to give to Amelia. No one knew he was considering tonight to ask Amelia to spend the rest of her days with him, to consider tying herself to him in holy matrimony. Not even the Doctor knew that. What had the woman seen that had made her as skittish as a deer in headlights? He didn’t know, but he had the feeling this would be quite the evening indeed…