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Whisper Not of Quarrels Past

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"Sherlock," Joan said, stepping into the room carrying a sleeveless dark green dress. "Could I ... ask you something?"

He looked up from the geological maps of New England that he was studying. "You've only put on six pounds, Watson, and that dress has a very forgiving cut, of course it won't show."

"That's not –" Joan paused. "Actually, that is the point. Here," she said, holding out the dress. "We need to see if it fits you."

Sherlock raised an eyebrow.

"I asked Everyone to break the encryption on those emails. In return, they want you to wear one of my dresses and lip-synch to 'Whisper Not'."

His brow crinkled. "You asked them for a favour, but they decided to impose their usual ritual humiliation upon me, instead? Why?"

She hesitated.

"I ask merely for purposes of clarification."

Joan looked uncomfortable. "I offered, but apparently they couldn't decide what they wanted me to do. Anything one of them proposed got voted down by the rest as misogynistic, racist, or just not very funny."

"Ah," Sherlock said, nodding. "Whereas I would be carrying on the proud British tradition of ostensibly cisgendered, heterosexual males performing in drag for purposes of company morale. I accept, of course."

Sherlock stood up and reached for the dress.

Joan surrendered it to him with a quiet, "Sorry about this."

"No need. It's rather encouraging that Everyone takes our renewed partnership so seriously as to negotiate with us as a unit. Do you happen to know which version of the song I'm meant to be crooning? I'll need a few minutes to rehearse, so as not to embarrass us with a poor performance."

"Ella Fitzgerald," Joan said. "I'll bring up a You Tube video with the lyrics while you get dressed. And … thank you."

Sherlock offered her a brisk smile and stepped into his room to try on the dress.