John wasn't fond of the heat.
And Florida in the summer... well it was hot, to say the least.
And it was sticky hot, not dry hot, which was a different beast entirely, and one he'd grown more used to.
Which left him feeling less than presentable by the time he arrived at The Ends of the Earth.
Cabs, or taxis, as they were more often called in America, John reminded himself, didn't seem fond of going there, one of them citing some sort of place where cars break down.
And he certainly wasn't going to drive himself, not with that other side of the road nonsense.
It took extra convincing, and more of his American 'dollars' to finally convince someone to take him, where he was deposited with his duffel bag and backpack, staring at the building.
It didn't look overly impressive.
But from what he'd heard, and he'd heard quite a bit, between some of his old army buddies and the internet research he'd been prompted to do, the man who could be found there was very impressive indeed.
He hiked his bag over his shoulder and headed in.
A man was sitting on a stool at the counter, his feet perched on the counter, reading a magazine. Upside down.
That had to be him.
"Walter Sherman?" John asked, extending a hand for him to shake, which the man only looked down at and ignored. "I spoke to Mr Knox about coming. I'm John Watson."
He retracted his hand when it became obvious the man wasn't going to shake it.
"You talked to Leo?" he asked, with more than a hint of suspicion.
"Yes, Walter," a voice boomed, and John turned to see the man he'd been speaking with on the phone.
He wasn't what John had expected, although he hadn't been entirely sure what to expect. The man was built like a... well, John wasn't sure. Something large. Like a house.
Leo shook John's hand.
"I told you about him. That he'd be coming to visit, and that he had a case for you." Leo looked at Walter purposefully.
"Mm... nope, don't remember."
"Walter, this is the man who wants you to find his friend. The famous detective who supposedly died."
Walter looked up. "Oh, that John Watson. Leo, why didn't you say so?" he scolded gently.
He jumped up and shook John's hand enthusiastically.
"I've actually done a bunch of research about this topic. Leo says that I don't care about current events, but that's not true. Just not the boring ones."
"Walter, natural disasters are not boring. Many lives are lost. It is a great sorrow," Leo informed him.
Walter seemed to not hear, or rather ignore Leo.
"So when I heard that Sherlock Holmes, renowned consulting detective, had killed himself, I was interested." Walter threw himself back on the stool, but his feet remained on the ground for the time being.
John tensed. "He didn't kill himself," he informed Walter. "He was forced to jump off that building, and besides, he's not dead. I want you to find him."
Walter examined John for a minute. "Okay."
John stared at him in disbelief. "That's it, you're just going to take the case? You're not going to call me mad, or tell me I'm imagining things, that Sherlock is indeed dead, and that I should just move on with my life and get over him?"
Walter's reply was simple. "No."
John didn't know what to say to that.
"I think you'll find that Walter can be very open minded," Leo offered.
"So much that Isabel thinks my brains may fall out," Walter grinned.
This was an awful lot to take in. "Sorry, who's Isabel?"
"Girlfriend," Walter said, at the same time as a female voice from behind John said "Friend".
He turned to see the woman who must have been Isabel.
"Isabel Zambada. I'm a US marshal, and one of Walter's friends." She emphasized the last word.
"I have paperwork that says you're not," Walter sang.
She glared at him. "Do I need to use my gun?"
When Walter shook his head, she turned back to John.
"And who might you be?"
"John Watson," he replied, relieved that she actually shook his hand when he offered it.
"You're not from around here John Watson," she commented.
He shook his head. "No, I'm from London. I came to talk to Walter about a case."
"Which he's taken," Leo added.
Isabel seemed to scan John. "A case? What sort of case?"
"The detective that killed himself. You know, the one who jumped off the building and..." Walter trailed off, choosing to finish the sentence with a hand motion and sound effects. "Splat."
"Walter," Isabel hissed at the same time as Leo rumbled his name.
"You are talking about this man's best friend. Be respectful. Are you alright Mr Watson?"
John shifted. "Erm, yeah. And you can call me John. And I'm a doctor, so... never mind."
"Doctor John Watson," Leo said, smiling broadly. "Now that has a nice sound to it."
Isabel took a seat on one of the stools on the other side of Walter. She smiled at him.
The shoulder strap of his duffel bag dug into John's collar bone uncomfortably, and he shifted it.
"Are you tired John?" Leo asked, noting this. "It's still early here, but with the time zones... I've got an extra trailer you can camp out in."
"That would be lovely," John agreed, realizing just how exhausted he was. It had been a long day.
Leo took the duffel bag from John's shoulder, leaving no room for argument, and led him back out of the bar, down the steps, and past one trailer before stopping at another.
"Who else lives here?" he asked, counting four trailers, including the one Leo was currently unlocking for him.
"Willa, Walter, and I," Leo told him, swinging open the door. "It's small, but has everything you'll need. Do you want something to eat?"
John's stomach growled in response. "Yes," he said, throwing his backpack down next to his duffel bag, and following Leo back into The Ends of the Earth.