A/N: This is a fill for a prompt on the kinkmeme. Anon wanted a story about Sherlock becoming obsessed with Tiny Tower and “deducing the fuck out of it.”
And at the end of the fic, I have included pics of the Sherlockian names I have given to the floors in my own Tiny Tower! (I'm obsessed with the game too.)
Sherlock crept up silently; John did not even realise Sherlock was behind him until he felt warm breath on his ear.
“What is that,” Sherlock said, looking over John’s shoulder at his mobile. The way he said it, one would have thought that the phone was making a continuous, irritating noise.
“It’s called Tiny Tower,” John said.
John enjoyed the little app game because it reminded him of playing SimCity on his Acorn Electron as a teenager. These days, he had neither the time nor energy to get hooked on a full PC version of a resource-management game. Tiny Tower offered a few moments of pleasant diversion here and there; in this case, John was waiting for the take-away to be delivered.
A box popped up on the screen with a message: The police are here to question Lance Kim. Can you find him?
“What is that? Who is Lance Kim?”
“Calm down,” John said. “It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a chore you perform to earn more currency.” (John was too embarrassed to say bux.)
“But Kim must have done something.”
“He hasn’t, I assure you.”
“What does he do? Where does he work?”
John scrolled up and down his tower until he located Lance Kim, then tapped him to receive his reward. “In the casino, apparently.”
The doorbell rang. “That’ll be the curry,” John said. He quit the game and put his mobile in his pocket. He tried to stand while Sherlock was still looking intently over his shoulder, and ended up knocking Sherlock’s jaw and making him inadvertently bite his tongue.
The following morning, John came down for breakfast to find Sherlock just as he’d left him the night before: still sitting in his chair, still wearing yesterday’s clothes. John drank his tea and read the paper. Sherlock did not speak, even to ask John to read out interesting obituaries; he was wrapped up in whatever was going on with his mobile. That was not unusual. But glancing over the top of the paper, John watched the pattern of Sherlock’s movements with interest, until Sherlock felt his stare.
“What,” Sherlock said.
“Just applying your methods,” John said. “You tapped the bottom of the screen once, then pressed your finger to the bottom of the screen for several seconds. You’re taking someone up the elevator. You’re playing Tiny Tower.”
“It’s quite challenging,” Sherlock said. “They put all this...need to earn money and build floors in your way. It makes the data collection much more difficult.”
“The earning money and building floors is the point of the game. There is no data collection.”
Sherlock got up out of his chair and knocked the paper aside in order to more effectively shove his mobile in John’s face. He pointed out a wandering Bitizen with a yellow cap, green shirt, and brown goatee. “This is Michael Payne,” he said. “Four times now, I’ve got an alert that there’s a personal chef to see him. Sometimes at work, sometimes at home. That’s suspicious enough, but how does a man employed in a plant nursery afford a personal chef? He must have some side income. Working in a nursery, that wool cap and goatee, Bitizens getting on the elevator and asking for that floor even when the nursery is shut?…Obviously Michael Payne has got a marijuana growing operation. Doubtful that this ‘personal chef’ is who he claims to be.”
John’s first instinct was to be amused; if anyone else had come to him with this tale, he’d think them quite imaginative and droll.
“Bitbook has also proven an invaluable resource,” Sherlock went on, not trying at all to be imaginative or droll. “By reading the posts complaining about undesirable jobs and the quirks of one’s neighbors, I was able to determine that the frozen yogurt shop is a front for a human trafficking network.”
Now John took a closer look at the screen. Sherlock had re-titled each floor as he’d uncovered its secrets:
“I've not yet determined who stole Frank Parker’s rug,” Sherlock said, “or why Alice Barnett needs to have boxes of puppies constantly delivered to her at the optometrist.” He grimaced in frustration just to think of it. “If only I knew what trinkets she keeps in her workspace, or how often she shampoos her hair, I could probably unravel it. The game is not challenging in the sense that I can’t parse the data. It’s that the data trickles in so slowly. Still, plenty of opportunities on the horizon. It’s possible to build one hundred and forty-two floors, and I’ve only got eighty-five so far.”
“You built eighty-five floors overnight?”
Sherlock was amazed at this as well, but not for the same reason as John. “I know! I’m already more than half done! It’s Wednesday, the slowest day of the week for murders. I need something to keep me occupied.”
“And when you’ve solved all the mysteries in your tower? What then?”
“Don’t know.” Sherlock collapsed back into his chair and resumed tapping at his screen. “Although those Pocket Frogs seem like they’ve got something to hide.”
BONUS FEATURE: Below are pics of my own Tiny Tower, the commercial floors of which I have re-named with Sherlock references. (The residential floors are all Tube stations.)
I apologize for the crappy quality; I have an Android, so I can't take proper screencaps. Also, I still haven't come up with a name for the comedy club, so if anyone has any suggestions that would fit into 16 characters, please drop me a line. :)