Mrs. Hudson rolled her eyes. It was never Dr. Watson who had a request, oh no; that dear man generally did everything for himself, was terribly polite to her, and quiet at night.

No, it was her troublesome lodger. Always. How he ever got to be a consulting detective when he was so bloody lazy… she sighed, hitched up her skirts, and climbed the stairs.

"Yes, Mr. Holmes?"

Mr. Holmes was holding something before him at arm's length, and gave her a strangely disgusted look—strange, because he was never disgusted by anything. "Tell me, am I truly seeing this, or has the morphine done its work at last?"

Mrs. Hudson chose, with a great deal of tact, to ignore the reference to morphine for now and mention it to Dr. Watson later. "Seeing what, Mr. Holmes?"

He swung his long, thin arm about and dangled a large rat before her.

She shrieked, and jumped back, and demanded, "Mr. Holmes!"

He rolled his eyes. "Do calm down and look at it seriously! Women!"

She was just on the verge of demanding what he meant before she noticed that the rat was wearing a rather nice waistcoat and jacket, and that Mr. Holmes was not holding it by its tail, as she had previously suspected, but in fact by an opera cape.

"Er," she said.

"Good," Mr. Holmes said. "I presume from your reaction that I am not hallucinating. Very well, sir," and here he swung the rat back up to his eye, "I think we should have a talk, you and I."

"This is ridiculous," the rat said.

Mrs. Hudson could not agree more.