“So we need a trick for a treat, agreed?” Molly looked over the piss-poor canteen coffee to Andrea. This plotting was necessary to get them the thing they wanted most: a date each with their preferred Holmes brother. And Mycroft’s party would be just the place to have the date: public event, good liquor and lots of places to sneak away to should the occasion arise.
Andrea nodded and then gave Molly a smile indicating she, too, was all ready to trick Sherlock while Molly tricked Mycroft. A done deal, sealed over coffee and a scone.
“Yes, I realize that,” Sherlock said sourly, carefully measuring the purple and foul-smelling caustic substance he had in his hand into the flask he needed it to be in.
“I heard he was thinking of asking Miss Hooper to go,” she said nonchalantly. “After all, she has done him some enormous favours in regards to you and your actions, and her department is in dire need of an increase in funding. A few small requests to talk, a few dances, it could be quite a beneficial event for her.”
“She’ll be bored to tears,” he replied, but his hand was beginning to shake.
“Well, I suppose you could come as my plus one, just to help relieve her boredom,” she said.
Sherlock was silent for a long while. “I’m not going in costume.”
Andrea smiled to herself as she looked down at her phone. Step one was taken care of. Step two was to change his mind about the costume, but she could work on that later.
“I’ll let my assistant sort out my costume, as per usual,” Mycroft said, eyeing the currant cheesecake. Molly went to cut him a slightly larger slice than usual, as this played right into Andrea’s plan and he deserved to be rewarded ahead of time. “If I attend, that is. There is always something bound to come up.”
“If you do go, I’ll bring one of these just for you and I to split in your kitchen,” she said. “When the guests get stiflingly boring.”
Mycroft eyed the cheesecake. “Throw in chocolate dipped biscuits and we have a deal.”
Sherlock looked down at the tuxedo and tails he wore, frowning. “Then what was the point of me coming at all? These things are a bore.”
“I have a sampling of the desserts and the dinner for her if you want to take it to her? I heard it has to do with a case. You might rank it a four, solve it before she spends too much time and share a meal with her? I can have a second serving made.”
Sherlock nodded, taking the bag of food from Andrea. There might be some hope for her friend after all...and maybe some for her as well.
“I do,” she said. “You have food?”
“I do,” he replied. “Perhaps I can help. So you don’t have to miss my brother’s party? Judging by the style of your hair you were the intended match to my costume.”
“I’m sorry for the trick, Sherlock,” she said. “We just thought you and Mycroft would never pay attention to us unless we arranged things, but then...” She waved her hand at the files. “The best laid plans of mice and men and all that.”
“We’ll solve the case quickly and you’ll get your dance with me tonight,” he said, smiling at her. “But let’s enjoy the food while we work?”
“A trustworthy woman, even with the trick,” he said with a soft smile.
“No trick, there really is a case. Barts doesn’t want to let Scotland Yard have the files so Molly is currently going through them. If your brother has his way, though, she’ll arrive in a bit. He might even solve the case to impress her.” Andrea went for a knife to cut the cheesecake. “Did I impress you?”
“Greatly,” he said. “Princess Anastasia, from the film?”
Andrea laughed softly. “Yes. That makes you Dmitri.”
“I’ve been in far worse positions, and far less interesting costumes.” He reached over and put a hand on hers to still her movement for a moment. “Thank you for this moment’s peace.”
“You’re welcome, Mycroft. We’ll enjoy it while we can.”
A definite treat, after all, it should be told.