Greg Lestrade looked disdainfully at the teabag, then dropped it into the flask of hot water. He kept saying he was going to cut back on the caffeine, so he might as well make a start and try to drink less coffee at work. He’d see how he got on.
Once in his office he started reading through the reports which were on his desk. After about ten minutes he stood up in order to get himself a coffee. Then he remembered his new plan and poured a cup of tea. He drank some of it and pulled a face. He wasn’t sure how long this idea would last, but he’d keep trying for the moment.
There was a knock on his door and Sergeant Donovan came in. Greg looked up and smiled. “Sally,” he said, “have I ever told you how wonderful you are? Would you like to come out for dinner with me tonight?”
Sally gave him an alarmed look. “Err, no you haven’t. I was just coming in to tell you I have to go over to Baker Street to retrieve the documents from his lordship. I won’t be long.”
Greg stood up. “I’ll come with you.”
“It won’t be necessary, sir.”
“I’d like to. And do call me Greg.”
By now Sally was rather concerned. She decided it might be wiser if her boss did come with her, rather than leaving him by himself, since she had no idea what was going on with him.
Meanwhile, in Baker Street, John had stumbled into the kitchen and made himself a mug of tea. It tasted rather strange, but John was used to things having odd tastes, so he decided to risk it. He’d just buy a new box of tea bags while he was out. He drank half the mug, made some toast, which he put in a sandwich bag to eat later, shouted ‘Goodbye’ to Sherlock and left the flat to go to work. On the way down the stairs, he remembered he was expecting a delivery, so decided to call on Mrs Hudson to let her know.
She opened her door and said, “Good morning, John. What can I do for you?”
“Mrs Hudson, how wonderful to see you. Have I told you how you attract me, like a bee to honey? For you are the very sweetest thing.”
“Good heavens, John, are you feeling all right?”
“Perfectly.” He wandered into her flat and sat down at the kitchen table, smiling adoringly at her.
Sherlock heard John leave and made his own way into the kitchen. There he found the half-drunk mug of tea, so he finished it off. It tasted strange, but Sherlock assumed it was another of John’s experiments to try exotic teas. He had received a text from Donovan saying she was coming over to collect the documents, so he gathered them up, ready to give her as soon as she arrived, for he had no wish to enter into conversation with her.
He heard the car pull up outside and went downstairs to hand the documents over at the front door.
He opened the door and said, “Sally, how lovely to see you. Do come up. We need to get to know you each other better.”
He led the way upstairs, and Sally followed. She didn’t understand what had got into Sherlock, but she did want the documents.
Once inside 221B, Sherlock said, “Lestrade, we don’t need you to stay.”
“I saw her first,” Greg replied. “And I’m not leaving.”
The two men started to argue loudly.
This attracted Mrs Hudson’s attention, and she came upstairs to find out what was going on. John followed her.
Sally was standing by the door watching the argument, and on seeing Mrs Hudson lifted her hands in the air to indicate she had no idea what was happening.
Mrs Hudson thought rapidly and then said, “John, dear, could you go and see if there’s a potato peeler in your kitchen, I seem to have misplaced mine.”
“Of course, darling,” John said with a smile.
As he headed towards the kitchen, Mrs Hudson grabbed Sally’s arm and said, “Come on!”
The two women hurried back down the stairs and into Mrs Hudson’s flat, where she locked and then bolted her door.
Shortly afterwards there was the sound of thundering feet, as the three men discovered they had been left, and ran downstairs after them.
“What’s going on?” Sally asked.
“I have no idea,” Mrs Hudson replied. “I think we’re going to need some help.”
She sent a text saying <Code Purple> and shortly afterwards Mycroft Holmes phoned.
“John seems to think he’s in love with me,” Mrs Hudson explained in answer to Mycroft’s enquiry. She then passed her phone to Sally to provide the rest of the details. Mycroft gave a very measured reply when Sally had finished speaking, and then assured her he would be with them soon.
“I do hope he isn’t long,” Mrs Hudson said. “I’m not sure what is worse, Sherlock and Greg arguing over you, or John declaiming love poems to me. Would you mind if I put some music on to try and drown them out?”
By the time Mycroft arrived, with Anthea following close behind, Sally and Mrs Hudson were playing Queen songs very loudly and singing I Want To Break Free at the tops of their voices.
As Mycroft attempted to reach Mrs Hudson’s door, Sherlock said, “Oh no you don’t, Sally’s mine. You’re not going anywhere near her.”
“Actually, she’s mine,” Greg added. “I saw her first. And you, Mycroft Holmes, can push off.”
“John, surely you can see reason,” Mycroft appealed.
“What, and let you close to Mrs Hudson,” John replied. “No way, mate!”
“Would you let me go through?” Anthea asked.
There was some muttering, but eventually they agreed she could go in, providing she didn’t form a threesome, which Anthea promised faithfully not to do.
Once inside, Anthea produced a packet from her bag. “We’ve brought an antidote,” she said. “If you could boil some water, it’s made just like tea. The only thing is you two will have to give it to them, because they won’t trust me.”
“Oh, very well,” Mrs Hudson said.
Sally groaned. “The things I end up doing!”
When the drinks were ready, Anthea unlocked the door and the other two ladies emerged. Mrs Hudson gave John one mug, and Sally passed her two to Sherlock and Greg. The three men drank and then looked at one another, before looking around in horror and rushing back upstairs to 221B.
“It worked,” Mrs Hudson laughed.
“Thank goodness for that,” Sally said and then swore. “Sherlock’s still got the documents I came to collect. I suppose I’ll have to go and get them.”
“If I were you, I’d head back to the Yard,” Anthea said. “Text Greg to bring them with him when he’s ready to go back to work.”
“Good point,” Sally said. “Thank you for your help. And thank you too, Mrs Hudson. Let me know if there’s any further problem and I’ll come back.”
“Thank you, dear,” Mrs Hudson replied. “I think they’ll be fine now. And I suspect they’ll leave me in peace for the rest of the day.”
Mycroft and Anthea left, with Sally close behind them. Mrs Hudson went back into her flat to make herself a nice cup of tea. She checked the teabag very carefully before putting it into her mug.