"Go Go Gadget 'Brella," the tall man in grey muttered. It was pissing rain, and the streets of London were deserted. The man in grey cursed under his breath when a large bouquet appeared, like magic, from the top of his hat.
"'Brella, I said! Go Go Gadget 'Brella!" The bouquet disappeared, to be replaced by a small, bright red parasol.
"That's better," the man said with a nod. He held up a crumpled map to his face, examining it as best he could in the thinning light. After a few moments, he nodded to himself, and set off to his left. Baker Street appeared before him, stretching out into the city. The man in grey walked a few blocks, stopping at an unassuming door just past a café. He checked his map again, just to be sure he had the right address. Then, with a breath that may or may not have been entirely biologically necessary, the man in grey gathered his courage and knocked on the door marked 221B.
"Dull," Sherlock Holmes said, drawing out the word so each individual letter could be distinguished. He flapped a hand at the man, who stood up from the rickety wooden chair.
"Oi! I was told you could help!"
Sherlock didn't afford the man even a slight glance. "A person with even the most miniscule imagination could see where your wife has run off to, Mr. Figgis, and I'm sorry to say that it isn't back to your wedding bed," he said, gathering a stack of papers into his hands. "Perhaps you would have better luck in visiting one of the many brothels this city has to offer. Heaven knows women tend to be more faithful to one who has paid them for their services," he said.
John Watson stifled a giggle as the now-brideless Figgis gave Sherlock the stink eye. However, not another word was said, as the man walked out of the room, deflated, but with as much dignity as he could muster.
Sherlock reclined on the sofa.
"I'm bored, John," he said in a petulant whine.
John sighed. "I'm sure something will turn up," he replied.
It had been a mere three days since Sherlock had last solved a case, but already the signs of stir-craziness were beginning to show.
John worried over Sherlock, truly he did. But it was impossible to tell when his eccentric flatmate would enter into a bout of 'boredom,' as he called it. John had hidden the gun this time, at least. If nothing else, he could perhaps save the flat from anymore damage than had already been caused by Sherlock's previous episodes.
He sighed. "Do you want me to make you any tea, then?" he asked.
Sherlock closed his eyes and put his hands to his temples. "No."
"Sherlock… you're not even on a case. You haven't eaten since yesterday," he said, standing up from his perch on the armchair across from Sherlock. "Please, just humor me on this. Tea, at the very least. That's all I ask."
Sherlock cracked one eye open. "Food is boring," he said, before closing the eye again.
John resisted the urge to yell. He ran a hand through his hair.
"More for me, then," he muttered, and walked into a kitchen. He prayed to any god that might be out there that Sherlock would get a case, and soon. He could deal with Case Sherlock. Bored Sherlock was another story.
Which was why, when the landlady showed her face in their flat exactly seven minutes later, John's face lit up with a certain hope.
Mrs. Hudson poked her head into the door. "Boys, I've got another one for you," she said in a light tone.
Sherlock said nothing.
"Send him in," said John.
"In you come, dearie, that's it," said Mrs. Hudson to the man outside the door.
"Thanks," the man said, with a smile, and stepped into the flat. He was careful to wipe his feet. It had been raining, after all.
Mrs. Hudson returned the smile. "Oh, you're welcome. Such a nice young man," she said to herself. "You boys behave," she said, wagging a finger at Sherlock, before disappearing back down the stairwell.
Sherlock Holmes peeked out from under his eyelids with a frown. No one smiled when a case was brought to 221B Baker Street.
"Who are you?" he asked. Besides the little speech he had given to Mr. Figgis earlier, it was the most he had spoken in the past sixty-two hours.
The man looked up at him, beaming. "The name's Inspector Gadget," he said. "Pleased to meet you. You must be Sherlock Holmes," he said. "It's an honor." Sherlock glanced over him. He was wearing a full length grey trench coat, blue jeans, and black shoes. He also sported a matching grey fedora. His face was strangely devoid of emotional depth. He smiled innocently.
"Hm," Sherlock said noncommittally.
John Watson walked in from the kitchen, holding a mug of hot tea between his hands. "Inspector Gadget," he said. "Sounds familiar. You're American?" he asked, trying to place where he had heard the name before.
"Yes," the Inspector said.
"No need to make obvious statements, John," Sherlock said.
John glared at his flatmate. "Ignore him," he said to the Inspector. "Please, have a seat," he continued, gesturing to the small wooden chair.
"Thanks," Inspector Gadget said, crossing the room in two steps and sitting on the chair. He smoothed the front of his coat.
"Why are you here, Inspector?" John asked, after a moment or two of uncomfortable silence.
A frown crossed Inspector Gadget's face for a fleeting moment. Sherlock relaxed. That was more like it.
"Well…" the Inspector started. "I'm here because I have a case that needs solving."
"No!" Sherlock said, bringing his hands to his cheeks in a parody of shock.
"Yes!" Inspector Gadget said, eyes widening, completely oblivious to the sarcasm that was positively dripping from Sherlock's mouth.
Sherlock groaned internally.
John gave Sherlock a look. "What can we do to help?" he asked, trying to smooth out the conversation.
Inspector Gadget looked around, as if making sure that no one was spying on their conversation. Then, with a glint of steel in his eyes, he turned back to Sherlock and John. "Sherlock Holmes," he began. "My niece, Penny, has been kidnapped." He swallowed.
Sherlock steepled his fingers in front of his lips.
Gadget continued. "I have reason to believe that she was taken by a criminal – also American – named Doctor Claw. She was taken-" he said, voice cracking only slightly. He cleared his throat. "She was taken almost three days ago. I… I've heard that you and Dr. John Watson have the ability to help me find her." He turned his eyes to the floor. "Please," he concluded, with a sniff.
John looked at him compassionately. He rose to offer the Inspector a tissue. To his shock, the Inspector's hat opened before he could reach him. He watched, startled, as a sort of mechanical hand extended from the top of the hat, offering the Inspector a handkerchief. The Inspector accepted this gift, and the hand vanished back into the hat.
"Um," John said.
Sherlock had watched this display quietly and without comment. After a moment's consideration, he stood. "We'll take your case, Inspector," he said with a nod.
John nodded blankly. "Um. Sherlock?" he asked.
"His, um. His hat…?" he asked quietly.
The Inspector flushed. "Oh, that! Oh, I'm… I apologize," he said, flustered. "I forget that things are different here in London," he said sheepishly.
John nodded slowly. "So do all Americans have magic hats with hands in them, then?" he asked, bewildered.
"Ah, no," the Inspector said. "Just me."
Sherlock grinned devilishly.
John took a breath. "Well, I've seen stranger, I suppose," he said.
"Not yet, you haven't," replied Sherlock quietly.
"Sorry?" John said, still looking a bit lost.
Sherlock just smiled. "Inspector Gadget, we will find your niece."
Gadget grinned with relief. "Wonderful!" he cried.
"We will, however, need your help," Sherlock continued, turning to face the window. "Your… skills will be required, I'm sure," he said.
Gadget stood, and brought himself to full attention. "Don't worry, Mr. Holmes! I'm always on duty," he said with a satisfying salute.
Sherlock turned back to face him, a bemused smile on his face. "I thought you might say something like that, Inspector Gadget," he said.
This will be continued. Promise.