"Watson? Watson!" The insistent cry of Sherlock Holmes, infamous sleuth, rang throughout the building. There was an insistent pounding from his room, as though something were being smashed against something else. Sherlock adjusted the hammer in his grip and swung again against the metal box, simultaneously calling out again, "WATSON!"
Watson, eyes rolling, opened the door to Sherlock's room and stepped inside, immediately trying to locate the source of Holmes's aggravation. He found Sherlock pounding away at a dented metal box with a hammer, as though it were some device of pure evil. Eyes widening in confusion, astonishment, and slight horror, he stepped forward, hands out, and exclaimed, "What the devil are you doing, Holmes?"
Stopping his next swing in mid-air, Sherlock panted, "I am conducting an experiment, by which your help is necessary."
"Lord, Holmes," Watson growled, shaking his head as he tossed his hat onto one of Sherlock's unkempt chairs. "What is it this time?"
"You see," Sherlock began, dropping the hammer to his side and gesturing at the box, "what I'm trying to figure out is how many blows from a hammer of light weight will wreck the object inside the box. I designed the box to have an insulated layer between the metal walls, with which I have filled in with concrete. Plain as day, you can see that there are very few dents in this contraption, and the seal has not in any way been broken. I hope that, should this method work and such a lock can be attached to it that it is not the easiest way to get into the box, I shall have solved the problem of thievery of the supposed 'safe box'. Now, what I need you - "
"Stop. I've had enough." Watson shook his head and pried the hammer from Sherlock's fingers. Stooping, he picked up the metal box, went over to the window, and threw the contraption out into the alleyway. It clattered and banged against the cobblestone loudly, by which the box fell apart. Sherlock stared after it, eyes wide, a look of disappointment crossing his face.
"Damn," he said. "I should have strengthened the corners. The second one will accommodate that modification, if only I can lay my hands on some more building materials and concrete." He turned away from the window as Watson leaned out to survey the damage.
"Holmes," Watson asked, "what was in that box?"
"Nothing important," Sherlock muttered, shaking his head as he rummaged through his piles of handwritten papers. "Just one of your glasses."
Watson stiffened and rushed back to the window. "Which one?"
"I believe it was the faceted crystal glass," Sherlock answered, distracted. He began to ramble to himself, sidetracked by the modification to what he had deemed as the true 'safe box'.
"The faceted crystal glass?" Watson cried, voice rising in pitch. He stormed over to Sherlock and grabbed him by the shoulders. "What the devil have you done with my glass!"
"Nothing." Sherlock pulled away from Watson's grasp and grabbed at the coat draped over one of his hardback chairs. "You're the one who threw the thing out the window."
"Holmes! What have I told you about taking my things?"
Sherlock drew on his coat and grabbed his hat, placing it deliberately on his forehead. "Shall we go for a walk, Watson? Perhaps the glass survived the fall." And he was out the door before Watson could open his mouth to speak.
They made their way out into the sidewalk and, hands deep in their pockets, set off at a leisurely pace. After determining that Watson's second-favorite faceted crystal glass had been smashed into smithereens from the fall, they headed to the north, talking in low tones as they swept past other Londoners who seemed to have nothing better to do than roam the streets. Though Watson was quite unsure as to why Sherlock had, for once, wanted to go for a walk without having an open case in mind, he did not question his companion. He merely listened to the man talk.
"You haven't had a case in weeks," Watson suddenly pointed out, glancing at his friend.
"Not a serious case, my dear Watson," Sherlock said, looking hard at the ground upon which he strode upon. "Just the mere simple ones - ones that are easily solvable at home, without ever leaving the sofa."
"You need to find something to do - other than your ridiculous experiments."
"Ridiculous? Like which ones?"
"Like the bloody flies, with you plucking away at your violin to make 'order from chaos'."
"It really worked!" Sherlock shook his head and sighed. "Sometimes, Watson, you fail to appreciate all that I strive to accomplish. It makes me wonder why - Oof!"
Sherlock nearly fell on his butt. Glancing around in surprise, he noticed an individual sprawled out before him, hastily scrambling to their feet. Notebooks, he instantly deduced, lay scattered about that person, opened to random pages. Clothed in a hat and coat similar to that of Sherlock's attire, Sherlock assumed that the individual was a male. He stooped to pick up the notebook which he had, in part, caused to scatter about the cobblestone.
"I'm so sorry," he said, glancing up at Watson, who stood back and watched the scene with arms crossed over his chest, a soft smirk twitching his lips. "I do hope that I haven't ruined anything."
The man shook his head, his face concealed from Sherlock as he tried to gather his belongings off of the ground. Holmes stooped lower - literally crouched on his feet - in an attempt to see the man. However, his eyes were drawn to a notebook spread out at his feet, opened to the first page. A title, written in thin, slanted scrawl, spread out across the first line.
Symbols: Symbology and Symbolism of Modern Society
Intrigued, Sherlock picked up the notebook and perused the page, the other notebooks he had collected balanced upon his left knee. After turning the page, he became puzzled, not by the words but by the scrawl itself. A slender hand reached out and plucked the notebook from his grasp, and he looked up at the person, startled. His gaze took in a well-defined, soft, feminine face and met deep, endless pools of brown eyes. Long, fluttering lashes, a smoothly curved nose, small but thin lips - all this he took in a glance, along with the flustered expression on the person's face. He handed the rest of the notebooks over hesitantly, captivated and confused simultaneously.
"Thank you," the woman said with a voice light and almost musical. The maturity in her tone rang defiantly through the air.
"You're very welcome, madam," Sherlock said, for once feeling at a loss for words.
Watson's gaze flicked between the two. "Madam?"
The woman nodded her head in Watson's direction, her eyes drawn back in an instant to Sherlock's, before trying to leave. Sharply, Holmes stepped into her path, his hand out to stay her, puzzling Watson to the utmost extent. Surely this was not Irene Adler, the only woman he had ever seen Sherlock stay with a gentle touch - was it? Perhaps...
"I couldn't help but read what was written in one of those notebooks," Sherlock said. "It's intriguing - interesting, to all extents."
"I'm guessing you say that because I'm a woman," the lady stated, an almost hostile tone in her voice.
Sherlock stared at her for a long moment. "Yes."
"Such an honest and truthful gentleman," the woman said, shifting the books in her arms. "Had you not run into me, I would have treated you like any other. Odd, how that seems to play off my mentality." She shook her head and tried to make leave again.
"I was hoping," Sherlock began, stepping into her path once more, Watson slowly receding from his view, "that I would be able to read more of what you've written."
"Surely you wouldn't want to." The woman shook her head again, modesty creeping into her voice. "Such work is not worthy to be read by such an educated individual as yourself."
At this, both Sherlock and Watson's faces registered surprise, though Sherlock's not so evident. "And how did you know what?" Watson piped up behind the woman, stepping into her path as well.
"A man who looks with such a calculating gaze and speaks with such an easy, confident manner is either of nobility or knowledge - of which I can tell is the latter, for neither of you look as though you were of high class," the woman stated blandly, speaking as though it were obvious.
Recovering from his astonishment quickly, Sherlock removed his hat and bowed, arm extended towards the direction of his current place of residence. "It would be a delight to have you for some tea, even a meal."
Watson nearly staggered back into the street. Holmes, inviting a woman he met on the street into the house? Watson couldn't believe it, and he could tell that, in some part, Holmes couldn't believe himself either. The woman bit her bottom lip and glanced between Sherlock and Watson, adjusting her notebooks nervously, her hat tipped awkwardly on her head. She glanced in a vain attempt to read Big Ben, and then shook her head.
"Only for a while," she conceded, looking Sherlock hard in the eyes. "I'm sure there is not much to be discussed, as I am not an entertainable guest."
"And there I must deny your claim," Sherlock said, smirking to himself. He placed his hat upon his head and crooked his left elbow, extending it to the woman. She glanced at it warily, as though uncertain, before looping one arm through. "Allow me to take your books." Sherlock took the books from her hand and balanced them effectively in his other arm. "Come along, Watson," he called over his shoulder, registering the deep and profound look of confusion on his companion's face.
As they walked to Sherlock's home, the woman fidgeted ever so slightly - not necessarily uncomfortable, Sherlock noticed, but more in anticipation and dread. He did his best to give her the space she needed, though he wanted nothing more than to find out who the woman was and why she, herself, seemed to be so educated when she was not of high class, either.
"What is your name?" Holmes asked, though he had seen her name written on the first page of her notebook.
"Jane Heathrow," she answered, looking at him directly. "And you?"
"Sherlock Holmes, at your service."
"Ah! So I was correct in my assumption." The woman glanced over her shoulder at Watson and said, "That must be Dr. Watson."
"You've heard of us." It was more statement than question on Sherlock's part.
"How could one not?" She smiled, something that nearly sent Sherlock's heart into a rapid-fire succession of palpitations. "The sleuth and his trusty companion, with whom he can thoroughly rely on."
In an attempt to control his excitement, Sherlock walked the woman to the rest of the way in silence and led her up to the room, Watson following close behind. Opening the door to his room, Sherlock suddenly winced as he realized how cluttered and unkempt it was.
"If I had known I would be entertaining a visitor," Sherlock said, "I would have tidied up the place. Shall I take your coat and hat?"
"Oh, thank you." Jane handed the articles over and took the notebooks from Sherlock's hands.
Watson stopped by Jane's side and said, "If he were to have any other visitor, he would never had bothered 'tidying up the place', I assure you. Holmes isn't one to do so."
"I am standing here, Watson!" Sherlock shook his head, draped Jane's jacket and hat on a chair, and waved Watson away, saying, "Go fetch us some tea, or at least tell the nanny to."
"I can hear you, Mr. Holmes!" The nanny cried shrilly, rummaging around in what one would assume was the kitchen. "It will be right out!"
Sherlock nodded his head and cleared off one of the chairs, offering it with an almost gentlemanly flourish to Jane. She took it with a smile and settled down into it, legs crossed in an almost awkward manner that caught Sherlock's eyes, despite the fact that he was trying to concentrate on the woman herself. Unlike others, whom he could deduce many things from in a glance, he could not read her so easily, especially her eyes, which he found himself swimming away upon. Watson roused him from his thoughts by pulling up a chair beside him.
"What is it that you do, Miss Heathrow?" Watson asked, taking up the conversation whereas Sherlock could not.
Sherlock immediately noticed the slight tension that twisted through Jane's jaw. She moistened her lips and answered, "I do not work, Dr. Watson."
"A student, then?" Watson gestured at the notebooks.
"No, she is no student," Sherlock pointed out before Jane could reply. He propped his chin up with his fist and stared intently at her. "She has seen very little labor, she is unmarried and has never been engaged, and she possesses a maturity that seems...unnaturally smooth."
Jane only responded with a slight widening of the eyes. Watson turned to Sherlock and said, "'Unnaturally smooth'?"
"Unnaturally smooth," Sherlock echoed. He looked at Jane directly with his piercing gaze. "I can't tell, and excuse me for asking, but how old are you?"
Jane inhaled slowly and exhaled heavily, regarding Sherlock with an indicpherable stare. "Even in your great deductions, you sorely underestimate who I am, Mr. Holmes. I - "
"Please, Sherlock," Holmes interjected. Watson could've fallen off his chair. Since when did Holmes ever allow a woman to address him by something other than his surname?
"Yes, Sherlock," Jane continued, eyes flickering, "I will concede to nothing but the truth - I am a mere sixteen years old."
At this, Sherlock leapt from his chair, pivoted sharply on his heel, and left the room, startling both Jane and Watson.
"I assure you," Watson said, turning to Jane, "that that has never happened before. Excuse me."
And he followed Holmes.
A/N: This was a fanfiction I started on DeviantArt until the website gave me a nasty virus that eventually made me wipe out my profile on my computer. It was a bloody mess, I'll tell you.
Anyway, this is Chapter 1 of a multiple chapter fanficition, and I hope you like it. Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite movies, and so I decided to write a fanfiction. One day, Jane Heathrow popped into my head and said, "Hullo, guess what? I'm a lot like Sherlock, and I would just love to meet him. I don't suppose we could run into each other on the street, could we?" (It was quite comical, actually.) So, I wrote her into the story, and the chapters that follow cultivate the relationship between Holmes and Jane. (There may be a little jealousy on Watson's part, indicating slight hints of H/W slash.)
This was rated T because I have a chapter in here where Irene Adler shows up and tries to put her moves on Sherlock. I used the word sexy in there, I think...or the word sexiness. Anyhow, that's the only reasons it's rated T. (Of course, there may be violence later on.)
I appreciate good reviews! Thank you!