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The idea comes to her early one Tuesday morning while she fills the rice cooker for breakfast.

 

In her sleep-hazy state, it seems brilliant. Sherlock’s been a little down lately without so many cases to fill her time, and over the past few days, she seems to have morphed into some sort of reclusive creature that stomped around the apartment in expensive pajamas and survived solely on convenience store chocolate. 

 

And besides that, Sherlock’s always been so closed off. Wato wouldn’t call her lonely, because Sherlock would scoff in her face if she tried, but… A while back, when Wato had felt lost and alone, Sherlock had given her purpose, and something akin to family. So maybe this is Wato returning the favor, because even if her own love life had crashed and burned miserably, that doesn’t mean that Sherlock’s is doomed to the same fate.

 

And then she wakes up for real, and realizes that it’ll be fucking impossible to convince Sherlock to go along with this.

 

Still, Wato is determined to pull this off.

 

“So, I was thinking--”

 

“No,” Sherlock says without even looking up from her phone. She’s sprawled out on the sofa like any minute now, she’ll melt into it for good.

 

“You don’t even know what I was going to say!” Wato says, exasperated. “What if I was about to tell you about a new case?”

 

“You weren’t,” Sherlock says, managing to sound self important and like a petulant teenager all at once. “You were going to try to get me to go out and do things.

 

“What’s wrong with that? You haven’t left the apartment in three days. Three days! You can’t just lock yourself in here forever.” 

 

“It seems to be working out fine, so far,” Sherlock says. 

 

Wato takes a deep breath. Well, Sherlock isn’t going to give her much of an opening, so she might as well just go for it. “I want to set you up with someone.”

 

That gets Sherlock to look.

 

“Listen! I’m pretty sure I could find someone you won’t hate. I mean, I know you better than anyone else,” Wato says, which, in her unprofessional opinion, isn’t an exaggeration, even if they factor Kento into the equation. She and Sherlock -- they’ve come a long way over the past year. Wato’s pretty sure she’s become the leading authority on all things Sherlock.

 

(Certainly not because she’s told Wato anything, because asking Sherlock about her past is like pulling teeth. But Wato has lived with her for so long, and proximity breeds a specific kind of intimacy; one that goes deeper than any words Wato has to describe it.)

 

“Is that so?” Sherlock says, amusement coloring her tone. 

 

“Yes! Have some faith in me. I’ll find someone that you’ll like.” Sherlock snorts at that. Wato sighs. “At least go on one date. One date, then I’ll leave you alone.”

 

Sherlock stares at her. Then she turns her attention back to her phone and says, “Fine. Do what you want. I’ll be waiting.”

 

“Really?” Wato says, surprised. She’d thought she would have to wear her down for several more hours, if not days, before she gave in. Still, she’s come prepared. “Okay, well, there’s this guy from the library I used to work at -- not fake Hemingway, someone else -- he’s smart, and nice, and he studies politics...” 

 

She trails off when Sherlock gives her this look, like she's missed something fundamentally obvious. The Look isn't uncommon, especially when they’re on a case, so Wato chooses to ignore it.

 

“Come on, give him a chance! You said that you would!”

 

Sherlock just stares at her, the Look unfaltering.

 

--

 

Sherlock takes one look at Takaya and proceeds to recite a fucking dissertation on every single one of his flaws before turning around and walking out of the cafe. Wato apologizes profusely to a shellshocked Takaya, fumbling a thousand yen bill out of her wallet and leaving it on the table before running after her.

 

“What was that? ” she says when she catches up to Sherlock, out of breath. “You said you’d give him a chance!”

 

“I did,” Sherlock says. “I met him, didn’t I?” 

 

“You didn’t meet him, you gutted him! You tore him to pieces!”

 

Sherlock sniffs. “He deserved it. Political science majors are always so fucking narcissistic.”

 

“He didn’t even get to say a word to you! You can’t do that to every guy you meet.”

 

“I can, because every single one of them is a conceited, condescending, lying bastard.”

 

“Always so bleak,” Wato sighs. “Don’t say anything like that to your next date.”

 

Sherlock stops and turns to her, eyes narrowed. “You said one date.”

 

“Whatever that was, it did not count as a date.”

 

“You never specified the requirements for a date to be completed. I went to the cafe and said more than five words to him. I think that’s more than enough.”

 

“Everything is so complicated with you.” Wato pinches the bridge of her nose. “Okay, okay. For a date to count, it needs to last at least half an hour, and you need to have at least one real conversation that isn’t just you insulting the poor boy.”

 

“You always have such unrealistic expectations.”



--



Wato should have seen it coming when Sherlock drives Kaito away exactly fifteen minutes into their date.

 

Technically, Wato shouldn’t have seen it at all, because she’s supposed to be back at their apartment and not spying on Sherlock’s date, but she knew that Sherlock would just leave early and lie her way around it when Wato asked, so she’d followed a few minutes behind Sherlock to the bar they’d agreed on in a baggy coat with a hood and a surgical mask covering half her face. There, she situated herself at a booth not too far that she couldn’t see Sherlock and Kaito where they sat at the bar but not so close that Sherlock would notice her immediately. She’d ordered a beer and slouched down, careful to stay in Sherlock’s blind spot, and she hadn’t seemed to notice a thing. Honestly, Wato’s a little proud of herself.

 

She’d thought that Kaito would be perfect: an investigative journalist with a novel in the making who seemed to know a little of just about everything. He was easy to banter with and difficult to offend, which Wato had thought might be the key to forming any kind of relationship with Sherlock. Unfortunately, after one painfully stilted conversation about the weather, Sherlock had exceeded every one of Wato’s expectations and gotten Kaito so angry that he was practically trembling with it as he gathered his coat and left.

 

Instead of leaving the bar altogether, though, Sherlock sighs and orders herself another drink.

 

This is one of the rare opportunities that Wato has to just observe Sherlock. She makes a striking figure where she sits with her long legs drawn up against the bar stool, leaning on the counter with her arms. Even here, something about her posture and the angles of her body is so compelling, practically screaming elegance and grace. The way the bar lights color her face highlights her beauty, the otherworldliness of it. 

 

A few more men approach Sherlock, but each one leaves after exchanging a few words that Wato can’t hear.

 

Maybe this is how it was meant to be: Sherlock solitary in her beauty. Wato can’t imagine anyone else being able to hold their ground next to her. Sherlock’s always been on another plane, no one else on equal footing. She tilts her head back to finish off her drink, the smooth column of her throat stark and pale as if it were cut out of marble. She holds the stem of the glass with a delicate, capable precision that Wato has seen in action so many times. Wato might spend a little too long staring and ignoring her own drink.

 

A woman slides into the barstool next to Sherlock, and says a few words to her, smiling. She seems friendly enough, but friendly has never really meshed well with Sherlock. Wato counts the seconds until Sherlock inevitably says something too offensive, too blunt, and drives her away.

 

The moment never comes.

 

The woman laughs at something that Sherlock says, and Sherlock actually smiles. Then, the smile turns into a smirk that makes Wato’s blood run hot and electric even from across the room, and Sherlock leans in and whispers something into the woman’s ear. She blushes hard, and Sherlock's smirk widens.

 

Wato comes to a realization.