AN: Title is from the Princess Bride
Watson spends approximately (on average) four minutes and thirty two seconds in the shower. Watson has an alcoholic for a sister, a limp that is psychosomatic and a blog that says nothing yet everything. He takes his tea with three sugars and his coffee with two.
Sherlock Holmes knows an awful lot about Dr John Watson. He just doesn't understand him.
"John," Sherlock says from his armchair, the very name filled with purpose and subtext. "In your opinion, how is it best to attract the attention of someone you like?"
Watson folds down the laptop and regards him for a moment, his eyes dark, "Youlikepeople, Sherlock?"
Sherlock snorts in derision, "Contrary to popular belief, Watson, I do not skulk about the world hating all its occupants."
"You do skulk though," Watson returns, looking all kinds of smug.
Sherlock doesn't have anything to say to that, thinking of the numerous evenings he's spent in pyjamas curled up on their sofa.
The crime scene is bright. It's a town house, Georgian judging by the architecture, close to Chelsea Embankment and every light is on. The kitchen is huge, polished and new. Marble and designer labels adorn every surface. The light is still bright. Worktop, ceiling, counter tops. It's almost too much for Sherlock, but it allows him to pick out every detail with absolute clarity so he doesn't complain about the slight visual over stimulation.
The body is sprawled on the floor, half on his side, but face down. Male, mid twenties. The knife wound in the front doesn't conceal the fact that it's a designer suit. The knife is a huge, carving style with a wicked edge and the stab wound is in his heart; this was personal. Hair is dark brown, the ends are curled black. Residual hair gel. The light catches on the edge of the gold Rolex peeping out from underneath his TM Lewin shirt sleeve. Obviously well groomed, a high city job if anything.
"Who is it?" Watson asks after Sherlock finishes explaining the results of an experiment involving benzanoic acid, anhydrous copper sulphate and a bag of Uncle Ben's microwaveable rice.
Sherlock blinks once and pushes the sweet and sour sauce to one side of his plate. "No one you know," he says dismissively and shifty eyed.
"It can't be a friend," Watson says around his noodles, "because you don't have any, it's not an 'enemy' because you and Mycroft, I mean, I know you have a blatant lack of morals but you'd never- not with your brother."
He pauses and looks at Sherlock then—though whether it's to check that he isn't an incestuous sociopath or to see if he's still paying attention, Sherlock can't tell, "And it's not that Molly girl from the hospital."
"Who is it then?" Sherlock says as he concentrates on a woman across the road having an argument about with her boyfriend about shoes but it's really about her insecurities.
The bedroom is unnecessarily large and far too empty to be comfortable in; no sign of any personal items save for the two bed side units. One has his mobile phone on, the other his laptop. People always put their belongings on the side most commonly used. So, that means two people were there? A quick look under the bed confirms this; two pairs of slippers.
Four poster bed dominates the room, made of Agarwood judging by the smell of patchouli and sandalwood. Expensive taste.
Sherlock picks up the mobile phone (Blackberry, newest model) and idly searches through the Events section. All the appointments are for work, save for one, where instead of reading 'lunch' in his schedule it reads 'John Hunter clinic appt.' John Hunter. Nearest hospital is Chelsea and Westminster, Sherlock searches their website using the phone, HIV and sexual health. Faithful people in monogamous relationships never check sexual health.
"It's Lestrade isn't it?"
Sherlock resists barking out a laugh and contemplates speaking his mind, ("The man is barely tolerable, Watson," or, "He isn't half as smart as you, Watson, don't insult my taste,") but if this is going to work, he has a part to play. He can't say anything though because for some, unfathomable reason his lips are locked and the only words that are looping illogically around his brain are, 'You. It's you.'
"That explains a lot, then," Watson says tightly and it doesn't, not at all, because the man is barely tolerable and he isn't half as smart as Watson and it isn'thimthat Sherlock likes. Where Watson gets these bizarre notions of his, Sherlock will never cease to wonder. He watches John fold his newspaper and then unfold it again. Bizarre. "Do you want to know how I worked it out?"
"No," Sherlock says, because Watson has got it absolutely wrong.
Sherlock goes into the bathroom next, because the bathroom of a well groomed man says more about him than the bathroom of a woman ever could.
The cupboard is full of male grooming products; bottle and bottle and bottle of aftershave. Half used containers of hair gel and anti-aging skin cream are abundant. So is the bottom shelf which is dedicated to a vast array of condoms.
The bin is much more revealing however, Sherlock pulls a toothbrush from the stand by the sink and uses it to prod the various discarded items. Used, knotted condoms. Definitely his. Folic acid vitamin packets. Definitely not his. Sherlock rummages a little further, finding nothing else but toilet paper and dental floss. The toothbrush is ruined, the end has a little bit of sperm coating it. Sherlock shrugs and drops it back in the bin; it's not like he'll be needing it now.
"Start with something small," Watson advises as they sit down in the taxi, "ask him out for a coffee some time.
"Don't do it a crime scene; association with bad memories and all that." Sherlock inspects Watson's face; he looks tense and he's looking resolutely out the window and at the floor—everywhere but at Sherlock.
Surprised at how frustrating he finds this behaviour, he waits for Watson to finish, "Do it in his office; the man obviously loves his job so, good association."
Sherlock nods looking contemplative, "And how would I begin such an exchange?"
"Well, be harsh, insufferable and a touch condescending: your usual self,"
The man is sexually promiscuous, if the multitude of condoms is anything to go by. The condoms which have a hole in them, the toothbrush had sperm on it even though they were knotted. She must have wanted to get pregnant by him. And the folic acid—a standard pregnancy vitamin, hidden in toilet paper, suggesting that it was being taken by someone who didn't want him to know she was taking it. Girlfriend or one night stand pregnant.
No. Girlfriend—she has slippers here, under the bed, she must have taken everything else of hers (only one toothbrush in the bathroom and none of her toiletries or clothes) so, presumably forgotten about. He wasn't faithful—testing at an STI clinic. She confronts him about pregnancy and unfaithfulness; he doesn't want either. Pressures her to have an abortion; she kills him in the kitchen out of anger/upset.
Classic case. Why do the police even bother calling him out for these?
"Is this mine?" Watson asks, picking a nondescript parcel off the fireplace, wedged between the Skull and something the he can't identify but he's not sure he really wants to.
"How observant Watson, it has your name on it." Sherlock remarks from the doorway, his hands are fidgeting: the only sign of his nervousness.
Watson ignores him and opens the package. It's a mobile phone. Lightweight, but sturdy. Brand new. He turns it over in his palm, curious, the back reads:
John looks up abruptly, with an unreadable emotion in his eyes, "Is this what I think it is?"
"Yes," Sherlock says decisively and then changes the subject, because he's more nervous than he could ever have anticipated and because feelings and reactions to the presentation of said feelings are not something to dwell on, "now I need you to send a text."
"You are looking for a young female. He's a banker, yes? She works at the same company as him; likely to be younger, maybe fresh out of university. Check the list of new recruits; she's got to be on a low salary—statistically speaking, I'm guessing financial motivations for getting pregnant. If not, check for an older woman he's in close contact with. Either way it has to be someone whose desk is in close proximity to him, someone he's mentoring, someone who's mentoring him, someone he sees every day, a lot of the day. The man is a visual thinker, visual person, his house screams it, he has to see them, be near them all the time. Solved."
"I was jealous when I thought it was Lestrade you were after," John admits.
Sherlock exhales softy, "I was angry that you thought it was Lestrade."
"I'm glad it's not," John says and smiles.
"Me too," Sherlock replies and closes the distance between them.
Sherlock Holmes. The consultant detective. Every day bastard. (Sometimes recovering) drug addict. Sociopath. High functioning sociopath.
Sherlock doesn't help people. Yes, he solves crimes and admittedly he is rather excellent at it and he doesn't do it to help people. He doesn't do it to watch them smile or their eyes light up in surprise or to stand in a dark hallway with them, laughing.
Sherlock doesn't understand why he helped Watson get rid of that ridiculous limp.
It could have been to prove that he was right, but Sherlock is right about a thousand and one things all the time (alright, most of the time) and if Watson hadn't understood that yesterday, he will tomorrow.