Thunder broke overhead and big fat raindrops began pelting down on the men and women huddled around a body in Hyde Park. In the mud, in the middle of the crowd, lay a dead man in his late thirties, naked, bloody and beaten.
Several police officers scrambled to erect a tent over the crime scene as quickly as possible as the sudden thunder storm lashed down and ruined any evidence they might have found to explain the poor man's untimely demise.
Amidst the chaos stood Sherlock Holmes, apparently unaware of the sudden change in the weather, where he remained stock still and as focussed as always.
"Sherlock? Anything?" Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade asked with a hint of desperation in his voice.
The tall detective stayed silent, narrowing his eyes as he bent down to peer more closely at the dead man's neck.
"Sherlock?" Greg tried again. He looked to Doctor John Watson, crouching on the opposite side of the body, who simply shrugged and stood up before limping slightly toward him.
He looked very tired to Greg, which matched how he was feeling right now. The Yard had several big cases on at the moment and he felt stretched to the limit. The last thing he needed was for Sherlock to draw this out in order to put on a show for his captive audience.
Greg sighed heavily and shuffled his feet back and forth in the mud. The temperature had dropped very suddenly and the thunder storm was becoming louder and more vicious. The increased wind speed was whipping at the make-shift tent around the body, lifting and billowing with sudden gusts. The DI quickly instructed a few men to fasten the tent much more securely before turning his attention back to the silent head of dark curls almost level with the floor, oblivious to the mud underneath.
"What are you doing?" Yelled the inspector over the wind "And when are you going to include us in your famous deductions eh? I don't want to be here all night."
John started to become equally irritated with Sherlock, as he became more aware of his own discomfort resulting from a long shift at the surgery, a skipped lunch, no dinner and now the cold weather making his leg and shoulder ache.
Suddenly the consulting detective leapt up, hair wild from the wind and mud dripping from his precious coat. "Check the CCTV footage for that street over there and arrest the dog walkers who visited the café on the corner before accosting this jogger, dragging him in to those bushes, stripping him and beating him, then dumping the body here for all to see. VERY obvious really."
Sherlock strode past the man and out in to the rain shouting "Dinner John?"
John and Greg hurried to catch up with him as he marched towards the aforementioned café.
"Wait, Sherlock! You need to take me through this…" Greg called out as he got closer.
"Then join us in the café, John needs to eat."
John turned and raised his eyebrows at Greg, who huffed in response and swiftly entered the café behind him.
The three men shed their soaked coats and sank in to the soft seats at a vacant table. John lost no time in procuring a menu and deciding what he wanted before passing it to Greg "You hungry?"
"You obviously are." Greg replied unhappily; he didn't have time for this! Still, he needed to talk to Sherlock so he might as well grab a quick bite to eat.
"What can I get you gents?" a young man asked them pleasantly, notebook in hand.
"The gammon, egg and chips for me." Sherlock replied smoothly, fiddling with his fly-away hair until it sat more neatly on his head.
"Er… I'll have Cod and chips thanks." John instructed. "Ooh! And mushy peas if you have them!"
"Certainly sir. And for you?" the waiter turned to Lestrade.
"Just a cheese and ham toastie thanks."
"A tea and two coffees please." Sherlock ordered on their behalf.
"Excellent, coming right up!" the cheery waiter took their menus and disappeared off in to the kitchen.
"OK… can we NOW get back to explaining how and why there's a dead man in Hyde Park?" Greg demanded, staring Sherlock down as best he could.
"Really George, it's sooo simple." Sherlock replied looking bored. "A three at best. Are you really losing your touch so badly?" He started scratching at his arm where his nicotine patch was located… god he needed a cigarette.
"It's Greg…" the DI ground out. "… and if it is indeed so simple, why not enlighten the rest of us?"
Sherlock turned abruptly to the doctor. "John?"
"Hmm?" John looked surprised to suddenly be the centre of attention.
"Explain it to Lestrade ." he nodded in Greg's direction.
"Uhh.. the… the body." John stuttered. Sherlock nodded at him enthusiastically. "Well… the dog hairs were a dead give-away."
Sherlock looked at Greg with a smug expression.
"Um… the state of his feet tell us that he is a regular runner." John continued.
Sherlock maintained his silence, waiting for John to continue.
"And he had lots of little bits of foliage in his hair… hence the dragging in to the bushes deduction." John finished, staring at Sherlock for some indication that he had been right.
"Well done John, you observed more in 10 minutes than 8 officers from Scotland Yard did in half an hour." Sherlock beamed at his friend as the waiter set their drinks down in front of them.
"Oh yes… tea… the giver of life." John practically melted in to his cup in bliss, his pride over his correct deductions forgotten now he had his well-deserved drink.
"OK, what else?" Greg asked, convinced that Sherlock had picked up more.
"Oh I'm sure that's enough to be getting on with. Wouldn't want to deprive you of the satisfaction of figuring it all out." Sherlock replied cheekily and took a sip from his own cup.
"John?" Greg asked frustrated.
"Hey I'm not the world's only consulting detective. That's all I've got. Oh look, our food's ready. That was quick!"
Sherlock picked the tomatoes out of his side salad and threw them on to John's plate in apparent disgust, while John began digging in to his Cod and chips (with mushy peas of course) like a man who hadn't eaten in days.
"Busy day at the surgery?" Greg enquired politely of John.
"Obviously." Sherlock interrupted, simultaneously spooning some of John's mushy peas on to his own plate.
"Oi that's mine!" the doctor protested around a mouthful of chips.
"You never finish them anyway." His friend retorted and promptly swiped a chip through the pile of mushy goodness to show that he fully intended to keep the stolen food.
John didn't waste time on an argument that he wasn't going to win in favour of devouring his Cod at speed.
Sherlock smirked and got back to his own meal.
Greg just stared at the duo, his mind casting back to seeing Sherlock taking care of John two weeks ago. They worked so seamlessly together. He decided it would be a damn shame if they never got over themselves and just admitted that their regard for each other went beyond friendship.
"What?" John asked as Greg realised too late that he had been staring at him.
"Oh nothing…" The Detective Inspector replied defensively.
"Feeling better?" Sherlock asked John when he had finished his meal.
"Yeah, much better. I needed that, thanks." John sighed and leaned back with his cup of tea. "How was your gammon?"
"Good. Perfectly complimented by the mushy peas…" One corner of Sherlock's mouth twitched in amusement.
"Great… good I'm so glad you enjoyed my dinner." John teased, smiling fondly at his flatmate.
Greg got this odd feeling that he was intruding on a date. Sherlock was a different person around the doctor and it was somewhat off-putting and uncomfortable. John however was always nice, Sherlock was damn lucky to have him around. Certainly no-one else treated the apparent sociopath like a normal person, let alone with affection as John did.
Greg Lestrade excused himself from the table, citing police work that needed tending to. He did indeed get back to work afterwards but he was somewhat preoccupied by his observations of the crime-busting duo from Baker Street.
Could they be more than just friends? Hard to tell with John as he was open and friendly with everyone. Sherlock on the other hand displayed signs of affection and devotion towards John, the likes of which Greg had previously never witnessed from the detective.
Despite Sherlock's extremely anti-social and annoying behaviour, Greg did want to see the troubled man happy. He felt a sudden urge to do some match-making… maybe all they needed was a little nudge?