Title: The Scarf
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock Holmes in any way, shape or form.
Description: Irene Adler moves in and Holmes doesn't notice, much to Watson's amusement. Bromance, banter. No slash I'm afraid.
Sherlock Holmes was many things.
An eccentric mastermind, with the tendency to leave his tobacco, in the toe end of a slipper.
Erratic, drug induced madman who kept his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very center of his wooden mantelpiece.
A gentlemen and above all patriot Englishmen. Cigars are kept in the coal-scuttle, by the fire place.
On this particular day, when the curtains were drawn to one of the few sunny days in London, Sherlock Holmes was another version of himself entirely.
Although his mind never did quite stop the eternal racket it produced and he had some moments previously, retrieved his tobacco from the toe end of his slipper, he was for lack of a better word. Curious.
Before him, not a meter away, lay an innocent in appearance object - of questionable origin.
What was undoubtedly an expensive and hand woven silk, probably not purchased within Europe. Somewhere in Asia perhaps? Never the less it was not an object often found within the realms of Sherlock Holmes'; he did however come to one conclusion. He did not like it.
A singular blue scarf sat mockingly on his table, clearly having no place amongst his clutter.
Obscuring his piles of parchment and scatter of spilled ink, nestled between the uneven pile of books which would most likely topple at the slightest jolt and what resembled an amphibian of sorts within a jar.
It was an oddity.
For this scarf was not his, nor Watson's, unless the good doctor had taken to wearing women's clothing. Yes, this particular scarf was undoubtedly owned by a member of the female species.
The question was. Of which member of the female species.
Nanny or Ms. Hudson as she was known at the present moment, due to her unusual tolerance of his 'antics 'as she referred to them, over the last week. Something he would certainly get to the bottom of once the matter regarding the scarf was done and dusted. No, Ms. Hudson had no such scarf. He was certain of that much. The colour much too vibrant and bold a blue to be that of a landlady.
Mary's perhaps. Although to his knowledge the good doctor's wife had not shown herself since the weeks start and this...thing had recently been left here, for what was yet to be determined, a sinister purpose.
The item in question was too clean. Objects left untended for too long a period within these walls, left, chemical stained at the very least. It was thereby deduced to be a newly acquired, foreign, infiltration.
A sharp knock to the door jolted him abruptly from his current train of thought and he straightened from his position. Where his feet had been firmly planted on the floor, upper body angled towards the anomaly currently occupying his table space, hands clasped behind back.
"Good-day old boy" Wilson said in greeting as he entered the darkened room.
"Watson" Holmes nodded his head in return before refocusing his attention "has Mary by any chance misplaced a blue scarf?"
"Not that I know of." Hat and coat were swiftly deposited on the coat rack. Watson was much too used to conversation starting mid way though one of Holmes's thought processes to question or react to them.
"It is as I thought."
Frowning Watson approached Holmes and stood at his side.
"That! Does not belong!" He proclaimed in the only way Holmes was able, as if it was the greatest discovery made by any man of his era.
Amused expression touched the corner of Watson's lips as he gazed down at a blue scarf before the smile was expertly hidden. "It's a scarf Holmes." He turned away, feigning disinterest.
"Yes it is" Holmes spun towards him and followed the doctor around the room as he picked up a coat, half under an upturned chair leg, returned the chair to its rightful upright position and threw the coat towards Holmes. "But the question is, to its origins."
"Put that on" he motioned to the coat in Holmes hand "we're already late."
"Watson, I do not believe you are taking this matter seriously!" Again, following Watson to the door where he pulled his coat and hat back on. "Late? Where are we going?"
Watson pulled the door open and bustled Holmes out, one arm still out of the coat. "Tea, with Ms. Winchester" he continued at Holmes's blank stare "your new client."
"Uh. The scarf..?"
"Holmes really, you probably just picked it up whilst you were playing dress up following some cheating husband. "
Forced briskly down the stairs and out the front door, the matter of the blue scarf was left quite unresolved.
The second time Holmes was presented with an unusual occurrence was a full week later; at just past one in the morning, when his stomach alerted him to the fact - food would be quite welcome. Making his way from his room, to the kitchen he briefly entertained the idea of waking Ms. Hudson and informing her he required nourishment. However, the reality of what Ms. Hudson would do in retaliation was far too high a risk. She could easily provide him with nothing but lemons' as food for the rest of the week or were he to truly enrage her, his room to be 'tidied'. He would be unable to find a thing for weeks!
It was this early morning visit to the kitchen where he spotted a tea cup sitting alone on the kitchen table. Faltering mid stride he came to a halt, leaning down until the cup was at eye level.
"Hmm" escaped his throat as he noted the slight discoloration at the very bottom of the cups bowls, it was – dirty.
Before bed each night, Ms. Hudson made sure every part of the house was inexplicably clean. This included any cutlery.
Never in all the time he had been under the strict eye of the landlady had he known her to leave an unclean plate, spoon or tea cup.
Leaning further forward he inhaled.
No scent of lemon was detected, which he knew Ms. Hudson religiously put into her cups of tea. She had not had a late night cup and simply not washed afterwards and if his assumption were correct, this tea did not belonged to Ms. Hudson at all.
Lowering himself into the chair at the head of the kitchen table, hunger was forgotten entirely.
It was here Ms. Hudson found him several hours later, as sunlight was just beginning to filter through the blinds.
"Mr. Holmes" she greeting, not particularly surprised by what she presumed was an entire night without sleep, again.
"Nanny." He stood from the chair. "How do you take your tea?"
Blinking at the oddity of the question she replied with suspicion gracing her features "lemon and water. As always."
"As I thought. Then perhaps you can explain to me precisely why there is an unwashed tea cup, without lemon - on this very kitchen table."
Following his finger to where he was pointing accusingly at the tea cup in question an odd expression crossed her features. "Did you have a cup last night?"
"What? No." Sounding appalled at the very notion he dropped his hand and straightened. "I most certainly did not."
"Well then, why is there a tea cup there?"
Holmes frowned "no person visited last night?"
Looking thoroughly amused Ms. Hudson plucked the tea cup off the table and walked to the sink "No, Mr. Holmes. No one visited."
"Are you meaning to say, you, myself, nor a visitor had a cup of tea last night and yet there is a clearly used tea cup here this morning."
"This is most peculiar." Eyebrows draw together in thought; Holmes mounted the stairs and shut himself in his room.
"Holm…" Watson barley got his friends name out before Holmes was pulling him into the room and shutting the door swiftly behind them both.
"There is something very peculiar occurring Watson."
Watson watched, for the most part, a collected man pace the length of the room in rapid jerky movements.
"Precisely what is occurring Holmes?" he inquired, enjoying the obvious discomfort Holmes was currently undergoing.
"The scarf and the tea cup! Watson! What does it mean?" wide eyed and not completely sane, Sherlock Holmes stopped in front of Watson, looking completely lost.
"What have you been drinking?" was supplied complete with the disapproving and amused look only Watson could muster.
"Nothing! Well…that is beside the point."
Watson sighed and took a seat, leaning against one of the many tables littered with God knows what in the room. "Scarf? And, did you say tea cup?"
"The scarf appeared from nowhere Watson, I have never laid eyes on the garment before" briefly he glared at the scarf in the exact place it had first been discovered. "Then, there was the tea cup without lemon. Ms. Hudson does not drink her tea without lemon Watson!"
Watson did something then which to Holmes was the last plausible reaction he had foreseen his friend to have. He burst out laughing.
"You still haven't figured it out. Sherlock Holmes, mastermind detective can't see something under his very nose?"
"Watson, you are making no sense." He was finding it difficult to see the humor in the situation.
Abruptly the door to his room was thrown wide open. He made to inject at the onslaught of his door and privacy when Parisian perfume hit his senses.
Irene Adler strode into the room, throwing him a wide smile as she slunk to his desk littered with parchment and books and odd amphibians in jars.
"I was wondering where I had left this." Picking up the blue scarf she frowned at the slight discoloration to the tips where it had evidently had something spilt on it. "Could have taken better care of it though, hmm?"
Standing in stunned silence Sherlock Holmes watched as the woman he had last seen in hand cuffs swaggered into his life once more, daintily pluck the infamous scarf up and walk right out the door.
Ignoring Watson who had a hand clasped across his mouth in what was presumed a poor attempt at suppressing laughter, he stood in the door frame and watched Irene Adler enter Watson's old room. Catching a glimpse of quite feminine in appearance furniture, before she closed the door with a smirk on her face.
"Watson?" Holmes inquired as he turned towards the doctor.
"Precisely how long has Irene Adler been living not a hallway away from me in my very own home?"
"Almost a month now old boy" Watson at least had the decency of looking sorry for him.
"Uh." Leaving his room he caught sight of Ms. Hudson descending the stair case. "Ms. Hudson, in future can you please inform me should any person..." he cleared his throat. "Move in."
"Of course Mr. Holmes" she looked much too smug for his liking.
Taking a deep breath he approached what was once John Watson's door and knocked lightly.
"Come in Sherlock."
Of course she would know who was on the other side of the door without seeing him.
Entering the room which was, he was certain, going to become the most visited and most avoided room in the house. Days spent tip toeing past the door and nights where he produced as much noise as were possible. This was going to be interesting indeed.
The room had taken a much more feminine appearance since the last occupant, however the daggers spread across the table in height order and the pistol by the bed side table were familiar. The mixture of men and women's clothing within the open cupboard door were not.
Irene Adler sat at a small table in the very center of the room, left corner of her mouth twitched upwards.
"Good morning" forcing a brief smile he pulled the chair opposite her out and sat down carefully.
"Afternoon." Casting a glance out the window he noted the position of the sun and almost grimaced. She was right. Again.
"I was getting quite worried."
Looking once more at the woman in front of him he raised his eyebrows in question. Assuming anything he said would be used against him.
"Your detective skills seem to be slipping. I was about to leave a brassier by your bed."
"Yes well." Straightening in his chair he quickly changed the topic "how long will you be staying? And by staying I mean how long until you steal from me or some other poor soul?"
"Seeing as I had no intention of stealing from you or 'some poor soul' as you so kindly phrased it. Indefinitely." She gave a slight rising of her shoulders before letting them drop once more.
"You cannot simply move into my home, leave your things all over the place and have no knowledge of when you are leaving." This was not a good idea, her moving in or him telling her she couldn't.
She stood with a flare of anger and he quickly joined her. He was a gentleman, if not a scruffy one.
"I pay the rent."
"I'll pay double to have you out the door." He ignored the twinge in his stomach as her face momentarily fell.
"I doubt you'll be able to afford the rent, of what I've seen have become of your detective skills."
"There is nothing wrong with my detective skills." Now that was just insulting.
Watson stuck his head through the door "should I be worried about a brawl starting up?"
"No Watson, Ms. Adler was simply suggesting" he cast her a dirty look "that my skills as a detective have become…"
"Obsolete?" she supplied folding her arms across her chest.
"She has been living here for almost a month old boy."
Holmes switched his attention between Watson and Adler, apparently his friend and rival had decided to team up whilst he was not paying complete attention. Charming.
"Watson, your coat smells of the docks. The only reason for you to go to the docks is to either buy fish or gamble. As I know Mary despises fish, you would not purchase such food, thus you have been gambling. Irene that necklace belongs to the wife of the Duke of Leeds; I know this as she asked me to find it for her. If you would kindly leave it on the table, by the front door, at a time which is convenient." Promptly, Holmes strode from the room, to his own and picked up his violin.
"Ow dear. I think we've upset him."
Watson exchanged a glance with Irene, they both cared deeply for the complicated man currently strumming an out of tune violin in the next room.
"Do you want me to..?" Watson gestured to the door.
Irene shook her head "No, it's my fault he's upset." A particularly loud objection from the violin echoed into her room and she winced. "Perhaps together?" Placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder Watson and Irene entered the lion's den. Preparing for what would inevitably lead to her leaving (again) and Watson having to pick up the pieces as Holmes took up drinking God knows what (again.)
"Sherlock?" Cautiously making her way into the room she approached the lone figure nestled in the dark on the floor beside a chair, rather than in it.
"Holmes. Whatever are you doing?" Inquired Watson looking down at his friend wallowing on the floor.
Momentarily ceasing the apparent senseless strumming he replied "sitting, breathing...playing the violin" The screech from said instrument suggested otherwise.
"What are you doing on the floor." Irene knelt down beside him, attempting to keep the frustration from leaking into her voice. She failed horribly.
"Well as I can obviously no longer be a detective, as my abilities are obsolete I have come to the conclusion, that I must find, another profession! The violin seemed the next best choice. Don't you agree?"
Pulling a face as he continued to play, Irene pulled the violin from his hand, leaving him the bow to wave uselessly through the air. "You're a good detective Holmes." Watson added quickly.
"Brilliant" he turned towards Irene. "Insane, but brilliant detective." She smiled warmly.
"Glad to hear it my dear" He stood, pulled his pipe from his pocket and actually sat in a chair. Looking entirely too pleased with himself.
Watson's brows drew together in exasperation "you weren't upset at all were you?"
Closing her eyes briefly Irene pulled herself to her feet and joined Watson as they stood in the presence of a man who had undeniably duped them both. "My moving in, rubbing your nose in the dirt, as you didn't notice another occupant in the house?"
"Not in the slightest." Lighting his pipe, he lent back in his chair and placed his boots on the tabletop.
I have not read the novels of Sherlock Holmes (just yet) everything's currently based on the erm...four times I've seen the movie in the cinema. Please ignore anything which is not canon and any spelling mistakes, my beta is currently having 'fun' with exams and very busy. Otherwise, I hope it was enjoyable.