It was the oddities that always caught the eye of Sherlock Holmes. That man's knee dusted with a shade of earth not native to the surrounding streets and alleyways, that lady's sleeve torn in a way that could not have come from the snag of a nail. The way the baker's eyes lingered on the wife strolling along the path on her husband's arm, and how her eyes took a moment to pass his; one day she would stray from her marriage, but it would not be this day. The usual had no interest for the detective. It was dross to be disregarded in favor of the random sparkle of the weird.
Packs of ragged children were a common sight on the streets of London. They roamed in search of food, pennies, or entertainment, dependent upon the financial situations of their families (provided they had one). Shop owners and constables sometimes chased them off, but for the most part they were ignored by all and sundry. Holmes valued that quality and employed his own pack of children, the Baker Street Irregulars, to great effect in the culmination of his cases. When the children dashed past him, laughing and shouting, he moved to the side without thought, for the chance he would be knocked over, and might not have spared them a second thought but for the oddity he espied.
Blonde hair and blue eyes were not unusual in England at all. His own roommate, the good Doctor John Watson, was possessed of both, in fact. But blonde hair, paired with blue eyes bearing an oriental tilt and an epicanthic fold… unusual indeed.
Holmes watched the gang of boys as they moved down the street, altering his path to follow theirs without thought. He chuckled to himself as a short loaf of bread disappeared into the sleeve of one while the baker's attention was still on the gentleman's wife, and noted it was his quarry who had so deftly managed the theft. 'Twas not a birth illness responsible for his eyes then- as there was one with that effect- not with such unusual grace to the boy's movements.
A sailor's by-blow from traveling in the Far East, perhaps, or of one of the rare travelers to come to England from the same, with most relations between the empires taking place on the island of Hong Kong. Holmes would not have expected it, however; Asiatics were invariably dark of hair and eyes, traits that any children should have shown. A grandchild? How had he come to roam the streets? There was that in his movements that recalled to Holmes the bits and trifles of baritsu he had picked up from loitering in dockside pubs and the brawls he had partaken of in the same. It seemed unlikely that a child could have learned it in the same manner as he had, here in dreary England.
As Holmes watched, once safely past the bakery the boy passed the bread to another of the pack, briefly facing Holmes himself with the movement. Blue eyes seemed to meet his own gray for a moment, and then continued on. In that moment the detective was surprised to note that what he had thought to be smears of dirt on the boy's face (which was also more defined than expected; due to his size, Holmes had thought him perhaps eleven years of age, and he now added two to three years to his estimate) were in fact markings, perhaps tattoos.
The group of street children was approaching an intersection. Knowing they intended to cross, Holmes increased his pace so as not to lose them amidst the traffic. An empty hansom was approaching, rattling over the cobblestones, and the boys dashed ahead of it with shrieks of laughter and high spirits. The horse pulling the hansom shied, and its driver rained curses down upon the heads of the rascals, who took little notice of his ire.
As the cab passed on, Holmes searched the pack of children, seeking to reacquire his target, and was dismayed to find that in the few moments the boy had been out of his line of sight, he had vanished. A thorough examination of the street ahead, and of the avenue to either side, revealed no sign of the bright blonde hair, and no children of the proper height who might be hiding it by means of a hat.
Thoroughly put out by the loss of his quarry, it was some time before the detective was forced to admit defeat, and resolved to return to his lodgings on Baker Street. Perhaps he would mention the brief encounter to Watson. His roommate would undoubtedly enjoy hearing that Holmes was not infallible.
On the parapet of a tenement overlooking the site where Holmes had dithered for a time, blue eyes narrowed in contemplation. Though young, he had much reason to be wary of any man who followed him, and he resolved to commit the man's face to memory. Perhaps they would meet again.
A/N: This came about due to an obsession begun by the new movie, and fed by the original tales. I wondered what fandom might most perplex the detective and, knowing that Star Wars had already been done, pondered upon Naruto. I'd never written Naruto before, and only vaguely recalled once watching the first episode of the anime back in high school, but when has that ever stopped me? Every author needs a crack!fic or two… This is not a high priority- updates will come as I receive inspiration- but I do enjoy writing in this style...
And please don't ask how Naruto wound up in Victorian England. It makes my head hurt to think about it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to either Naruto or Sherlock Holmes.
25 December 2010