Author: CoolerThanYou PM
A tale of suspense and drama, where all are merely pieces on the great chessboard of Moriarty and Mycroft. Sherlock can tell that there's something strange about his new flatmate, but he can't quite put his finger on it. Not Slash, sorry shippers.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Friendship - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,499 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 08-13-12 - Published: 08-04-12 - id: 8392636
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Hello, my lovlies. I hope you're not eating, drinking, tight-rope walking, or whatever it is that you do; because, this brilliant story shall cause what CT and I call "Awesomephobitis", or as you might call it: Compulsive compulsions from being compulsively overwhelmed by the Awesomeness that is this story.
Prepare yourself for a rollar-coaster of emotion.
It's a funny thing, decisions are. Some can make you or break you. Some can save a life or kill thousands. You make little ones every day, inconsequential ones, yet each of these tiny decisions matter. It was like chess, if you could compare it to that.
Every move, every decision you made would create a final outcome at the climax. Climaxes were never very fun; they almost always included that one part: the final choice. He hated that part. He mentally cringed every time he saw one, which was everywhere.
In fairy tales, the hero always made the "good" decision, and the villain always made a cowardly one. Subsequently, the hero was always rewarded and the villain was always punished. People always proclaimed that they would make the "good" decision, get the reward, and everyone would live happily ever after. But real life didn't work that way.
And John, he always hated that part because it revealed a side of himself that he hated. Unlike most people, he never knew which one he would be: The hero or the villain, and which decision he would make.
Dr. Watson was snapped out of his musings by a large pigeon flying right past his face. He swatted at it weakly, sighed, and mentally returned to the present world.
He was sitting on a lone park bench in a drab, nearly empty park. A few hungry grey pigeons were scattered about at his feet, thinking he was going to feed them. He looked slowly, tilting his head to the side very much like one of the pigeons at his feet. Quiet. It was very quiet.
Almost no-one was around, just a few couples walking hand in hand and about two or three joggers far off. The only person who could have possibly seen him was a single man walking his dog briskly away from John. Just as well, he chided himself. I must've looked like a nutter staring off like that.
Sitting up suddenly and scaring off the pigeons, John stumbled up off the bench with the help of his cane. He glanced down at his watch. 10:29. Almost time. He reached into his coat pocket and clasped his phone, fumbling with it briefly and almost dropping it due to the trembling of his left hand.
Keep it steady, boy. He flipped open the phone and checked for any new messages. None.
It was half past ten now, and he immediately started tottering off with the help of his cane. He glanced down at his feet now, ever mindful of his limp. Step, then limp on the right. Step, limp. Step, limp. Step, limp. It was a pattern that he was very familiar with.
He rounded the corner on the path. He could see the coffee shop just around the corner of the row houses directly in front of him, past the park and across the street. Just about 100 metres away.
The man sitting at the bench he had just passed called out to him.
He ducked his head briefly to look at his watch as the man introduced himself. 10:32.
"Yes, alright, yes, my god…" he mumbled as he reached his non-trembling hand out to shake Stamford's. He could tell that the rounder, shorter man was very pleased to see him, even though the feeling wasn't quite mutual. He stood tall and steadfast, however, remembering his strict training for his staunch soldier's stance. Feet apart, head tall, shoulders square, eyes alert. Clasp your left hand's wrist behind your back and right there you appear like a figure of authority that actually cared.
"I heard you were abroad somewhere getting shot at," Mike wheezed. He then lowered his voice in that way that all who wanted to know the gossipy dirty parts would, just so he could impress someone else by parroting it right back at them. "What happened?"
John gave into his irritation and gave him an unsatisfying answer.
He continued to stand steadfast through Mike's annoying questions. Even though he could tell that his old schoolmate meant well, he had to grit his teeth at a few of the ruder questions. They had now been sitting in the little coffee shop for the past thirteen minutes; John had been keeping careful count by glancing down at his wristwatch every so often as if he were going to be late for an appointment.
"..And my new neighbor, funny chap he is, doesn't chit-chat much, polite fellow though, just got a dog recently. Big thing it is too. I'm not sure if dogs of that size are allowed in our building. Oh well though, it doesn't bark much. No smell, no noise. Kept up a horrible racket last night though. Much like your blaring about on your old clarinet. Mrs. Morphy, my other neighbor, kept on knocking on my door, the old coot! Thought it was my dog! Oh and just yesterday, I bought a nice new couch…"
Tuning out Stamford's chatter about his neighbor's new dog or some other rubbish like that, John instead focused on his surroundings. First he checked the coffee shop for security cameras. There was just one, pointed at the till. John shifted over a smidge until he was sure he was out of the camera's range. Next, he subtly scanned the crowd. No-one was facing either of them. He caught the eyes of a young business man in a dark suit whose back was turned to him, the man's reflection glancing back at John through the shop's glass window. The man blinked at him once, then looked away and got up, never once turning around, and left his newspaper at his table.
It was 10:49.
Snapping back into the conversation, John dropped a single hint that he might not be able to afford staying in London due to the prices of flats, and Stamford ate it up immediately. Mike mentioned another person who he worked with who needed a flat mate, and the next thing that John knew was that he was being whisked off the morgue to meet him. Which was a good thing; if he had to sit through his old mate rambling on and on anymore, he felt that he would either shoot himself or everyone else in the coffee shop.
He checked his watch again. 10:52. They would have to walk very quickly or he would be late. After paying for their lunch (Mike treated him, feeling sympathetic to his low income from his army pension), and leaving the shop he even forgot his limp briefly as he and Stamford walked to his car. It wasn't as if Stamford would notice.
John Watson always remembered the first impressions that other people had on him. He found it very useful to know how people reacted to strangers when they didn't think that they were being judged by a coworker or friend. It almost always showed their view of social guidelines and how eager they were to be liked. People almost always put on the usual "polite" demeanor and carefully kept a friendly disposition.
This man did not, however.
"Afghanistan or Iraq?"
Watson also knew that in order to make people trust you quickly, one had to maintain a seemingly clueless expression, act stupider than the other person, and constantly express how amazed and enthralled they were by the brilliant wonder that the other was.
"Which was it, Afghanistan or Iraq?"
"Afghanistan, I'm sorry, how did you…"
"Ahh, Molly! Coffee, thank you."
The tall thin man with the dark curls and calculating expression whisked the coffee away from the timid mousy woman. They talked for a little bit about small things, all while Stamford was watching on, looking very amused.
"Okay. I uhh… I have to go call my boyfriend." Molly glanced at John, giving him a tight smile as she hurried out of the room.
The tall man began talking to John now, diving right into conversation by noting his personality and asking him rapid and brief questions about being flatmates. John was amazed at how quickly this strange, energetic man was at switching topics, and he soon noted his impatience at other people's inability to keep up with his high speeds.
So John continued to keep his clueless, bewildered front, and shamelessly fed the fire of the other man's ego as he packed up to leave.
"Is that it?"
The younger man paused at the door and gave him a captious expression.
"Is that what?"
"Well we just met. And we're gonna go look at a flat."
Afterwards, after working out all of the smaller details (small details as in actually getting to know his future flatmate's address and name) he stepped outside the hospital to wait for Stamford to finish in the loo so he could drive him home. He checked his cell, reading the strange and seemingly undecipherable message Sherlock had sent from his phone about arresting someone.
Dr. Watson glanced around to make sure he was alone before sending out his own text:
We shall update soon! In preparation, why don't you write us a review? That would be greatly appreciated.