Hi, you all! It´s been a long time...
This chapter is my version of their first meeting in canon. It´s probably not exactly the same, though. And I swear, this will be only chapter in which I rely this much on the original. Original is the inspiration and I actually try to get the characters right, but I like to create my own plot lines. (By the way, it would be nice to hear, how much in character you think my John, Mycroft and Sherlock are now that they are adult?)
So after all this rambling... here we go! :D
"Nothing ever happens to me", he had told today to his therapist, Ella Thompson, when she had suggested to him blog writing. She had claimed, that it would do him good. Adjust him better to civilian life. She was actually a good therapist. John liked her much better than his earlier one. He felt bad for shooting down her suggestion, but sadly that was the truth. He had now lived in London for almost two months and never in his life had he felt more useless.
He gritted his teeth and limped forward with the same gloomy determination, that had kept him going until now. It was spring and the central park was still relatively empty because of the cold weather. Stupid seagulls were doing skilled dives after cast away chips. To John their screams sounded mocking, so clumsy and slow was his own moving. There wasn´t even anything wrong with his leg, only with his head. Unfortunately the pain was all real.
-John! John Watson.
He heard someone calling his name and was tempted to just keep going, but when the caller stood up from the bench and stepped after him repeating his name, he resigned and turned around.
It was Mike Stamford from his year course. He looked healthy, plump and happy. He practically beamed at him and was clearly delighted to see him. John did his best to act at least civil and not to take his own bitterness out from he innocent passerby who just happened to be his old friend.
They ended up drinking instant coffee on a bench while catching up. Somewhere along the way John had blurted out that he couldn´t afford to stay in London with his army pension. He had come to that conclusion after spending only two months in his god awful, rundown apartment, which was tiny enough to be someone´s toilet. Walking with the cane took so much effort and time, that beside the therapy sessions, he hardly left the apartment. Spending all day in that kind of place was far from beneficial to his mental health.
But Mike Stamford just laughed it off good naturedly and told that the John Watson he knew couldn´t bear to live anywhere else. After witnessing that John was serious he, however, suggested getting help from his sister Harry, which John didn´t consider for a moment. Then Mike suggested flat share.
-Who would want to share a flat with me, he had scoffed full of self pity, but surprisingly Mike only laughed at his words.
-You are the second person today to tell me that, he explained somewhat mischievously.
-Who is the first? John just had to ask.
-Afghanistan or Iraq?
John batted his eyelids.
-Afghanistan or Iraq? Well, which one it is? The long, curly haired man in front of him pressed. He had some ridiculously sharp cheekbones, John noted.
-Afghanistan. But how did you...?"
Before the man could answer, the lab door was opened and a mousy looking woman walked in with a cup of steaming coffee. She was stammering and blushing so much that her crush on mr. Cheek Bones became painfully obvious. She handed him the coffee, but the man didn´t seem to notice her expectations at all. Either that or he behaved cruelly on purpose. (John didn´t know, which would be worse.)
The woman rushed out from the the research lab and the man didn´t seem bothered at all by that. If that was, how he used to deal with undesired interest of opposite sex... Well, he probably should regularly check his coffee for poison, John wondered.
The man didn´t seem concerned. He simply continued the bizarre interrogation of John.
-How do you feel about violin?
John was even more confused now.
-I´m sorry... What?
The man explained that he played violin while thinking and could sometimes go on for days. Now, John began to have this eerie feeling of familiarity.
-..flatmates should know the worst of each other.
John was pulled back to the reality and it took a while for him to recognise that the man had just talked about flat mates. He turned to Mike feeling slightly offended that the friend had so eagerly discussed about his situation with the other man (and without mentioning it to him). But Mike denied his accusation and shrugged his shoulders still having that mischievous twinkle in his gentle eyes.
-Then, who talked anything about flatmates? He asked confused.
-I did, the man stated while pulling on his long coat and without even turning to face him.
-I told Mike on this morning that I must be a difficult man to find a flatmate for. Now here he is... unannounced with an old friend clearly just home from military service in Afghanistan. Not a difficult leap.
John´s heart pounded louder. There really was something about this man. He couldn´t put a finger on it, but the way his light grey eyes shined in excitement... The way he carelessly but elegantly wrapped the dark blue scarf around his neck. The way he talked. It was like an itch one couldn´t scratch. Absurd sense of déjà vu.
To hide his confusion and also because he really wanted to know, he asked, how the man knew about Afghanistan, but instead of answering he told John about a nice little place in central London, which he had and which they could afford together. He even announced that they would be meeting there at seven o´clock tomorrow. Then he apologized for having to rush already (to get his riding crop from mortuary!?). (And no, he didn´t look or sound even a bit apologetic...)
The man was half way to the door before John managed to open his mouth.
-Is that it? He stopped the man.
The man turned around slowly.
-Is that what? He asked, finally looking to his eyes.
It was quite unbelievable that John had to explain that. They had just met and now they were renting a flat together. And... He didn´t even know the man´s name or the bloody address of the place.
The man´s eyes widened as if John had just challenged him in some way.
-I know that you´re army doctor and that you´ve been demobilized home from Afghanistan and you have a brother who is worried about you. You don´t go to him though. Probably because he is an alcoholic or more likely because he has recently walked out from his wife. That and your therapist thinks that your limp is psychosomatic...
He took a long estimating look on his leg.
-I think, quite correctly, I´m afraid, he then bluntly pointed out.
John didn´t know what to say, which the man noticed. His lips twitched to a triumphant smirk. He strode to the door and John thought that he was already gone, but then he returned to the doorway.
-The name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221 Baker Street! The man announced and winked playfully, after which he closed the door. (The smug bastard!)