“I always imagined you have a secret lair beneath a volcano for such an occasion.” “There is only one thing that can guarantee peace – your head on a pike. Hypothetically speaking, of course.” “I’ve seen subtler displays of insensitivity. Do you attend the wakes of all your victims?” “Well, lack of imagination is an occupational hazard for an apex predator.” “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say. And I’ve known you for a long time.” “What does Buddhism have to do with erectile dysfunction?” “I don’t know what’s weirder … that I’m spending my Friday night with you or the Stanley freaking Cup.” “The great love of my life is a homicidal maniac. No one’s perfect.” “You think you broke us up with the power of your mind?” “I have what some might call a strong personality.” “After many, many hours, I’ve come to most wretched of realizations. One that might curdle your very blood. You are my friend.”
“You’re bad at this, ______. You’re exceptionally bad.”
“So now you have to have brain damage to want a baby?” “That’s the sex blanket.” “I’m not easily surprised but I do confess that I wasn’t expecting this.” “I think this is the Olympics of self-pity.” “Imagine sitting for a portrait today. Hubris practically leaks off the canvas.” “Meeting the parents. That’s an important milestone in the romantic passion play.” “Do you know what I haven’t said to anyone in a long time? I love you.” “You hurt yourself. Someone hurt me. You don’t know anything about how I’m feeling.” “I have allowed empathetic thoughts to clutter my mind and reduce my perception.” “You know better than to ask me a non-specific question.” “I abhor the dull routine of existence.” “You engaged in horizontal refreshment with ( them/______ ).” “You are something of a romantic terrorist.” “_____ seems adequately sexed.” “So, I walked all the way to the eastern edge of the property, and I did not find a thing. No dead bodies, no secret hideouts, no smoke monster. There’s plenty of mud, though.” “I’m quite certain they were staging a fake murder when they fell victim to two real ones.” “So they didn’t commit a murder so much as provide you with a murder-tunity.” “You named your killer robot ‘Gus’?” “So, your alibi is that you were oiling your chainsaw.” “We really are living in a golden age for perverts.” “Oh, and if you have any lingering doubts, here’s how you can be certain I’m not the one who tried to kill you – you’re alive!” “I was mistaken. You don’t know what my partner looks like naked.” “You do realize that pink coconuts do not occur in nature?” “Are you cooking, or did we get stampeded by a class of second graders?”
If this makes you imagine the red couch as a bit bigger or
smaller than it actually is, so be it. I have bad spatial memory/recognition.
The case was solved. They’d just returned from the precinct
and had settled down in the library with take away and ice cream and were now
sitting before a roaring fire that served as a barrier against the sub-zero
None of this was out of the ordinary for Sherlock. What was
out of the ordinary was Watson’s position.
It had started innocently enough. She had come to sit next
to him on the red couch to show him something on her phone—an article that
related to an old cold case they’d recently solved. After he’d skimmed the
article and handed her phone back to her, instead of getting up she’d stayed,
leaning back on the opposite arm of the couch, nearest the window, continuing
to read news and whatever else on her phone. She’d even pulled down the duvet
from the back of the couch to drape over her legs, already clad in warm pajamas,
her red cardigan wrapped securely around her.
Sherlock had no idea what possessed her to settle herself
thus, on the same couch as he was sitting, but he had no reason to protest. He
had nothing against Watson settling on the couch, but he wondered if he should
move. But he was not at all tired, and didn’t feel like changing into more
casual clothes—he still wore his trousers, shoes, and buttoned up shirt, only
his jacket taken off due to the large fire before them.
He got up to stoke the fire, as an excuse to move his
restless limbs. He took a book from one of the shelves, then a second, and
resumed his seat on the opposite end of the couch from Watson. She still was
reading something on her phone, her glasses a bit farther down her nose.
He set his books down and took off his shoes, in order to
more comfortably sit cross-legged, taking up slightly more room on the couch.
Watson didn’t even look at him. He took up a book and began to read, glancing
at her from time to time.
After his third glance she looked up from her phone over the
rim of her glasses. “Sherlock, what is it?” she said, her words careful, not
“Hmm?” He looked over to her with wide eyes, feigning
“You’ve glanced at me several times. What is it?” she
repeated, keeping her eyes still on him. He studied her expression. She was curious,
relaxed, the contentment derived from their recently solved case still
permeating her limbs.
He hesitated a full second, then held up one of the books he’d
retrieved, flashing the title in Watson’s direction. She didn’t blink, telling
him she’d caught it. “I wanted to show you something here that reminded me of
that cold case. Are you heavily occupied at present?”
She gave a small shake of her head, tucking her phone
between the back of the couch and the duvet, before coming up on her knees,
bracing herself on the back of the couch with one hand and reaching for the
book with the other.
Sherlock flipped to the appropriate page and held out the
book to her, watching closely as she adjusted her glasses and began to read.
She settled back on her heels, somewhat closer to him. He moved further over to
his end of the couch, leaning back against the arm and laying his legs straight
out in front of him. This caused his feet—clad in his “loud” socks, as Watson
referred to them—to brush against Watson’s calf, but she showed no reaction.
She did not move from her spot on the middle cushion, intent on the words
“You’re telling me this,” Watson held the book a few inches
in front of his face, tapping one paragraph with her index finger, “proves that
the science behind the forensics was wrong? How can that be possible?”
He slowly took the book from her hands, and she let him, her
hard stare pinning him with a demand for an explanation. She’d raised herself
up on her knees to hand him the book, and now seemed to tower over him without
meaning to, her high ponytail only making her look more austere. His mouth
“It’s a compliment to your attention to detail, Watson. You
noticed a flaw when I didn’t. This,” he closed the book with a snap, “only corroborates
Pursing her lips, Watson reached behind her to retrieve her
phone, then settled back on her heels to type something into Google no doubt.
As she typed, she settled more between him and the back of the couch, lifting
and then resting her feet flat on the other side of his calves. Her feet were
bare, and likely freezing. As she scrolled, Sherlock reached forward and caught
the edge of the duvet, pulling it over both of them. Out of the corner of his
eye he caught Watson’s smile.
“When was that book published?” she said, not taking her
eyes off her phone.
“2014,” he said, tucking one edge of the duvet under his
thigh in a motion he hoped Watson didn’t notice. A few seconds of silence
passed, before Watson thrust her phone in his face this time.
“Read this. The murder we solved happened in 2009. Proves
the science hadn’t yet caught up to prove Houser’s innocence.”
Sherlock dutifully read, drawing his brows close together as
he focused on the words. Watson was moving around again, this time leaning to
her left to pry the second book Sherlock had retrieved from between his arm and
the back of the couch. He barely shifted to accommodate her, so she had to lean
over to pull the book out. Her calf brushed his knee and lower thigh with her
movement, though he pretended that did not cause him to lose his place in his
“This is a book on traditional Chinese medicine,” Watson
announced, holding the book with one hand and pulling the duvet closer to her
with the other. Unconsciously, her ankles pushed back against his left calf as
she settled in.
That did cause him to lose his place. But he did not look up
from Watson’s phone. “I hadn’t noticed,” he said, keeping his expression his
stiff version of neutral.
“This has nothing to do with proving Houser’s innocence. When
did you buy this?” she said, not looking up as she flipped to the book’s table
He mirrored her and kept his eyes resolutely on the words in
front of him, though not a word registered. “While I was in London. It proved
useful on a case. And before you ask, Watson, it had nothing to do with corroborating
your claims about Chinese herbs’ abilities to contribute to longer-lasting, more vasodilated erections.”
He looked up to find
he had not mistaken the laughter in the two syllables of his name. Watson’s
eyes were still hard but she was all but smirking at him.
“You know you’re a
horrible liar,” she said, looking back to the book and turning to the first
“You think I was
trying to cause myself more vasodilated erections?” he asked, blinking once at
her. She lifted her chin without looking away from the page, her smile growing.
“You bought this
book because of me. After I moved back in. I know you did,” she stated.
“Then why did you
ask me when I bought it,” he said, no feigned question in his voice this time.
She finally looked
back up at him, her expression unchanging even at the sight of his frown. “To
prove how horrible a liar you are,” she said.
He simply looked at
her, his frown deepening.
“You can’t keep your
eyes still when you lie,” she added, tilting her head towards him, her stare
“I was reading,” he
said, holding up her phone. She shook her head once.
“Still lying.” And
she returned to her own reading, becoming fully engrossed within seconds, her
glasses sliding a bit further down her nose.
Sherlock gave her a
glare which she did not return, and looked back to the article she had given
him. The screen lit up and he found his place again, his scowl disappearing as
the old case once again took over his thoughts.
By the time he had
finished reading the article, Watson had more fully relaxed into the couch and
into…him. Her bent knees were now resting over his thighs, and she had the book
pulled closer toward her chest, likely to see better in the dim light.
Watson’s phone and was about to readjust himself when he made a realization.
Watson was not seeing anything in the dim light—her eyes were closed. Her head
was inches from resting on his arm, propped up on her hand instead, the book nearly
closed in the lax fingers of her right hand. Her glasses were now on the very
tip of her nose, inviting Sherlock to take them completely off, but he
By the rate of her
breathing he knew she was likely only dozing. Watson could doze anywhere, he’d
found. This was the first time she had chosen to do so on top of him, however.
whispered, her name almost coming out a hiss. She didn’t stir. He became more
aware of her weight on him, the way her loosening ponytail had caused her face
to turn downward in sleep. He reached in with his left hand and carefully pried
the book from her loose grip. She still didn’t stir.
repeated, changing to a stage whisper. He tapped the book against her right arm
that was within easy reach. “I can’t feel my legs, Watson,” he said, strangely
hesitant to raise his voice further. It had been far too long since he’d seen
Watson’s freckles so up close.
She only sighed in
her sleep. Sherlock dared not take any deep breaths, and so to distract himself
looked at the book in his hands to see where Watson had left off. The memory of
her smile when she had discovered the book kept him reading, and also kept his
fidgeting to a minimum as he let her sleep on.
“I wish people wouldn’t just see me as the Asian girl who beats everyone up, or the Asian girl with no emotion. People see Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock in a romantic comedy, but not me. You add race to it, and it became, ‘Well, she’s too Asian’, or, ‘She’s too American’. I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It’s a very strange place to be. You’re not Asian enough and then you’re not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.”
Umm, this is not a headcanon. I’m sorry, I just wanted to write something about pomegranate seeds and this happened.
(Being a Taurus of course the first thing I thought of was
Sherlock didn’t make it habit to bring her breakfast in bed.
If he had she would’ve thought he was hiding something (in the kitchen to be
precise, like that one time he’d kept various pig parts in the refrigerator,
after which she’d insisted they get a second refrigerator for the basement).
He only brought breakfast into her room while they were on a
case, and he knew she had worked late and/or eaten very little the previous
evening. Or he had a point to prove. It didn’t matter if she was awake for the
delivery of the food or not, whether he was present when she woke. He always
found a way to leave some sort of message with her first repast. Usually pertaining
to where he’d gotten with the case overnight, or an address telling her where
to meet him and when.
But her favorites were the scavenger hunts.
He never called them that. Only Joan did. But it was enough
for her that he bothered to lay out multiple notes for her to find, knowing
exactly what order she would get to them because he knew her routine so well.
Once he’d even hidden the third note of a hunt in her sock drawer, knowing it
was cold enough she would choose to wear heavier socks for their walk around
the large, outdoor crime scene.
The notes usually accompanied the food. But one morning it
was different. Her alarm went off precisely on time, she turned it off twice, and
got up. The first note was on her nightstand, where her phone had been.
Come downstairs as
soon as you are able. No need to dress.
Raising her eyebrows, she pulled the covers off and put her
bare feet to the floor, inching them into her slippers. A crinkling against her
right foot told her where the second note was.
Breakfast is in the
This gave Joan some trepidation. Was he hiding something in
the kitchen again? Grabbing her red cardigan, she made her way quickly
downstairs. Hopefully it wasn’t anything more than setting off a bomb he had to
clean up, or even an unexpected guest. Anything was better than animal parts in
the fridge. Or roosters.
Immediately she noticed he had a fire going in their
fireplace. Granted the winter chill was still lingering this early in March, so
she was grateful.
Second she saw Sherlock, still in sweatpants and a t-shirt,
cross-legged on the floor, his brow creased as he intently picked apart
something in his hands. Something which left a pinkish liquid all over his
“Sherlock?” Joan approached him, not bothering to hide her
confusion. He glanced up at her in acknowledgment, but then returned his focus
to whatever he was holding. She noticed there was a plate and knife in front of
him, and a dishtowel already stained with more of the pinkish substance.
“Is that my breakfast?” she said, barely making it a
question. Studying the lines around his eyes, she knew she’d have to ease him
into telling her what was wrong with the kitchen. Or what was in the kitchen that he didn’t want her
stumbling onto quite yet.
“No,” Sherlock said, his tone distracted. He pointed a
finger to a small bowl on the side table to his right. “That is. This will be
In the bowl she found the mysterious source of the pink
juice coating Sherlock’s hands. Pomegranate seeds.
She popped a couple in her mouth and turned back to him. “Why
are you picking them apart up here? You’re a mess.”
“I’m testing a theory,” he said, glancing at her again. A
short, sidelong glance that made her more suspicious.
She ate another seed, looking down at him. A few beats of
silence passed while a few more pink seeds dropped onto Sherlock’s plate.
“What theory?” she said, staring resolutely at his face even
as he remained fully focused on dissecting his breakfast. She popped three more
seeds in her mouth.
“Our victim was poisoned by a particular substance hidden in
her food, yet no food was found in her stomach by the ME,” Sherlock began,
picking up the last quarter of his pomegranate to get the last of the seeds.
Joan suppressed an eye roll and sat down in the chair to his
right. He would reveal his plan to her in his own time, she knew. “Right, but
we know the poison killed her in seconds. It was absorbed through her skin, she
didn’t have to ingest it.”
Sherlock hummed in response. “Results came back on the
residue found around the victim’s mouth and on her fingers. Pomegranate juice.”
Joan looked down at her bowl of pomegranate seeds. “But she
didn’t ingest any seeds,” she said thoughtfully.
“Which leads to my theory,” Sherlock said, just before he
picked up a few seeds and all but shoved them in his mouth. She suppressed a
smile, knowing he hadn’t eaten anything since around 2pm yesterday. He wouldn’t
touch the take away she’d brought in last night, too focused on their case.
Looking down at her own bowl of seeds, Joan didn’t catch
Sherlock’s sudden movement until he was literally caging her in the chair with
his arms on either side of her.
She stiffened, feeling his legs brush against hers as he
leaned in. Her hands were occupied holding the bowl in her lap, and her mind
scrambled in the process of debating if it was worth it upending the seeds
everywhere to shove him off.
Before she could decide he was kissing her.
The tart sweetness of pomegranates filled her mouth as his
mouth pressed down on hers. Her pulse ran wild and she responded against her
better sense, leaning up into the kiss and opening to him. He deepened the
kiss, his tongue gently meeting hers. There was another burst of sweetness on
her tongue, and she realized he’d slipped pomegranate seeds into her mouth.
Surprised, she leaned slightly away. He leaned back too. She opened her eyes,
having no memory of closing them.
The pounding of her heart against her chest was accompanied
by the realization they were both breathing hard. Unconsciously she chose to
focus on his eyes. Dilated. As soft and dark as she had ever seen them. There
was sweat on his brow from the nearby heat of the fire. His lips moist from the
pomegranate juice and her equal fervor in returning his kiss. She blinked
She felt his deep exhale against her skin as he pushed
himself away. She caught a grin crossing his face, and was amazed to see a hint
of sheepishness in his expression. But when he turned back to her, his eyes
were sharp, his expression stoically energized again.
“The killer delivered their poison through a slip of the
tongue, as it were,” he declared, licking some of the juice off of his fingers.
He could not look at her, she noted. She licked her lips, setting aside her
bowl of seeds distractedly, before rising.
“There was a placebo pill,” she said, looking up at him with
determined control in her voice.
He stopped fidgeting and sucking on his right middle finger
and looked at her. Almost tucking his head, his eyes moving surreptitiously. He
was waiting for anger, and confused he wasn’t getting it from her.
“In the seeds you gave me…just now,” she said. Her heart was
still pounding, her breathing a little unsteady. She swallowed. “The victim,
she spit them out, but it was too late.”
He hummed, his shoulders straightening with renewed
confidence. “Yes. We now know the victim was very intimate with her murderer.
The Kiss of Death. Killer likely thought it was romantic.” There was the
customary heaviness to the last word that delivered his derision, but Joan had
already turned away to grab her phone.
“I’ll call Gregson,” she said, walking toward the door to
the kitchen steps. At the top of the steps she stopped, half turning back
toward the library. “Do you want coffee? I’m going to make some,” she said a
bit louder, not wanting to look directly at him but wanting her voice to carry
enough so he could hear her.
“Please,” he answered, and she gave a slight nod of
acknowledgment before heading downstairs. She clutched her phone in one hand,
holding her cardigan tightly closed with the other. If he noticed they had been
shaking, he would know better than to mention it.
If you don’t do your homework, you don’t get recess, so the
new kid hasn’t had recess since he transferred because he had stood up on his
second day in class and announced that homework was “busywork assigned by
lazy-minded adults to break the spirits of children and make us as dull as
When Ms. Hudson pulls Joan aside to assign Sherlock as Joan’s
new study buddy, the teacher just sighs. “Do the best you can. You’re the only
student we trust not to be distracted by him.”
Two weeks later, no one’s particular surprised when Johnny
the hall monitor catches Sherlock into the principal’s office. The fact that
Joan was the one picking the lock is a bit more alarming. When the assistant
principal presses her on why, Joan kicks her feet against the chair and raises
her little chin. “We’re investigating alleged wrongdoing,” she says, pronouncing
‘alleged’ the exact way you would if you’d only ever seen the word written
“What, kids?” says Assistant Principle Gregson wearily. “Someone
stole your gum in class? Teacher took your pencil and never gave it back?”
“The principal is embezzling money from our afterschool
programs and using the funds to pay off her debts with a local drug lord,”
“Oh,” says Assistant Principal Gregson.
Joan leans forward in her chair, and Assistant Principal has
seen her win just about every academic award the county can offer a second
grader, but he’s never seen her look as keen as she does now. “Ah-leg-ed-ly,”
Joan says. “We thought the office maybe would have proof.”
The office does, in fact, have proof, which is the only
reason that neither of them get in trouble. The same can’t be said for the
principal. The same day that the police come into the school to arrest him,
Sherlock for the first time gets to go out for recess. He and Joan had done
their homework together the night before, in a blanket fort in her basement.
Joan wouldn’t let Sherlock tell her about the suspicious death of the neighbor
down his street until he finished his spelling. Ms. Hudson, in an attempt to
encourage Sherlock to do literally any homework, was letting the two of them
pick whichever words they wanted to study.
With a purple pen, Ms. Hudson adds another s to asault,
crosses out the extra r in murrder, and wrote Well done! across the top of his worksheet. Out on the playground,
Joan and Sherlock crouch beneath the jungle gym and listen to a sixth grader
describe the circumstances of his missing backpack.