A/N: Five drabbles about what five staples in the life of Sherlock Holmes thought the first time they saw John Watson. The first is 100 words, the second is 200, and so on until 500. (It's a little exercise I do when I'm feeling rambley, thanks for indulging me.


1 - Mrs. Hudson was tickled pink.

Sherlock didn't like people, at all. More often than not she listened to him rant about how boring they all were, with such empty shells for brains that he couldn't understand why they'd choose to get up in the mornings. She knew he didn't think much of her intellect, but Sherlock was fond of her biscuits, and her cheap rent, so more often than not he was kind to her when he would've shamed anyone else.

But then, there came John. Gentle John.

The only one who could make Sherlock laugh, and make him want


2 - Sergeant Anderson was beyond insulted.

Anderson loathed Sherlock Holmes with every bit of his supposedly remarkable being. Anderson was used to thinking of himself the smartest man in the room, and a lifetime of education with an ego to come with all those degrees usually made that assumption true. He couldn't stand Sherlock because the man was vibrantly, blindingly, infinitely more clever than him, and Sherlock did it without even trying.

Some warped part of Anderson – one that he liked to pretend didn't exist – harbored the schoolboy fantasy that someday Sherlock would walk onto a crime scene and suddenly realize Anderson was his equal, meant to be his partner, part of some immortal duo who flitted around London stopping criminals.

And then one night Sherlock swooped in to a crime scene, decked out in his bloody great coat, followed by a painfully regular looking bloke, useless with a crippled limp, and so polite that he got uncomfortable when Sherlock humiliated Anderson in front of him.

Sherlock showed off for the pathetically ordinary man. He dragged out intimate details and tossed them around, all to show John Watson how clever he was.

Anderson could never forgive Watson for that.


3 - Sally Donovan was greatly disturbed.

She liked things that made sense, that followed the rules everyone else had to live by, and Sherlock Holmes wasn't either of those things.

He pranced about ignoring the chain of evidence, and despising good people who worked their fingers to the bloody bone to catch every criminal, not just the interesting ones. She hated the freak for his scorn, and for somehow inducing Lestrade into believing that they needed him.

She knew that one day Sherlock would get too bored with catching the criminals and decide there was more fun the be had in destroying lives than saving them. And she knew who that first life would be.

John Watson had seemed like a nice bloke. He sought Lestrade's permission before he followed where Sherlock just burst in, he didn't like it when the freak ridiculed other people, and was kind – but naïve – enough to actually try and reach out to the freak and treat him like he was capable of being normal.

Sally had tried to warn John off Sherlock from almost the first moment, but Watson wouldn't go. He moved right on in to a flat filled with human eyes and the sort of things you only see in horror films with that feature a mad scientist who butchers people on his kitchen table. He dashed about the city breaking laws and harassing citizens, all because the freak wanted him to go along. Sherlock didn't even ask, he'd just shout behind as he scurried off and John would follow with a shrug.

Sherlock was a psychopath. He wasn't a detective, he wasn't a man, he wasn't a friend, he was a serial killer just waiting to shed his human skin.

And when he did, John Watson would be a corpse.


4 - Mycroft Holmes was surprisingly pleased.

Mycroft had long theorized that Sherlock needed someone who didn't look at him like he was made wrong. Like every twisted, ingenious idea that ranged through his mind was not the product of a malformed soul.

Though of all the possible associates Mycroft Holmes had envisioned for his younger brother, and the many men and women of every class, interest, and prediliction that Mycroft had subtely sent Sherlock's way, someone like John Watson had never been on the list.

The man was so terrifically ordinary that Mycroft was almost ashamed that Sherlock found him so enthralling.

From the moment Sherlock mentioned to Mr. Stamford that he was seeking a flatmate, he had been tailed by one of Mycroft's men. Thus, two words into Stamford's conversation with John Watson, Mycroft had every scrap of paper to ever mention one Dr. John Watson distributed to the secret service and their psychiatrists.

MI5 called Watson a good doctor, and a damn fine soldier, though perhaps had a bit more moral fiber than would aide in self preservation. The psychiatrists considered John surprisingly well-adjusted despite his damaging familial relationships, and a rather talented doctor, even though he had only managed mediocre grades. (One of the psychiatrists rambled for several pages about Watson's trustworthy nature and honest face, and Mycroft was unsure whether to promote her to head up this case or have her deported to the Americas.)

Despite the ever-growing dossier, nothing in the file explained the strange, insistent pull between John Watson and Sherlock Holmes. In truth, John's plainness only made the matter more confusing.

Mycroft had to meet him, had to understand Watson in a way that only observation would allow. He ignored all the counsel that declared his interference would only entrench John further into his association with Sherlock and make it almost impossible to separate them by outside influence. (And if that was the true intent of a man who fervently wanted to see his brother happy, no one needed to know.)

Their conversation went precisely as Mycroft expected it to: John uncomfortable and almost positive this was a psychosymatic delusion, and Mycroft secretly thrilled at the backbone the man displayed, after all Watson would need that strength when coping with Sherlock.

John Watson was exquisitely ordinary, and Mycroft still did not understand why Sherlock was enthralled. But that didn't matter quite so much anymore.


5 - Gregory Lestrade was a man of faith.

He didn't ask questions when Sherlock turned up at a crime scene with an 'associate' who'd been sprawled over a chair in Sherlock's living room when Lestrade showed up to ask for help.

No, Lestrade didn't ask. But he noticed anyway.

He watched Sherlock as completely ignored the body in front of him so he could stare in fascination at the rather normal-looking chap he'd brought to do the examination. Every bit of his bloody great brain was focused on the man, studying the lines of him as he shifted over the body like he was the one puzzle Sherlock had never solved.

Lestrade saw how Watson told Sherlock he was brilliant, and meant it. The bit of praise seemed so strange to Sherlock that he just stared back, like he wanted to ask, "Really?" but didn't dare do it and make it seem like he cared.

It was odd, and made Sherlock a little crueler than normal to everyone else, as though he was trying to convince himself that whatever kindness he showed John was just an anomaly.

But then, the oddness kept going.

Sherlock walked in on their drugs bust, and he panicked. The last time Sherlock had come home to see his flat torn apart he'd walked right back out again and Lestrade had gone home to find Sherlock conducting experiments on his cat. Lestrade didn't much like the cat, so it was all in good fun, but this time Sherlock had been scared. Not because he though they'd find something (because if Sherlock bloody Holmes hid it, no one was finding it), but because Sherlock didn't want John to know he was an addict. Usually Sherlock trotted out tales of his illicit doings that would make even the roughest PC blush, just for the shock value, but in the presence of John, he was ashamed.

Sherlock had gone and gotten himself attached to the doctor, listened to him when John said he was being an ass, and oddest of all, checked with John that he wasn't crossing that fine line from crassinto sociopath.

Lestrade fought the gnawing fear that the good doctor might do the practical thing and leave Sherlock, even though Sherlock wanted to keep him. Lestrade had harbored the secret notion that Sherlock could be a good man, infinitely better than what he'd been for the last few decades of his life, and something about Watson shouted out that he was the heart to that. With John Watson at his side Sherlock could become, well... human.

And then at the end of it, there was Sherlock, incapable of paying attention to anything Lestrade had to say because he was too busy staring at John Watson like a schoolgirl with a crush. Lestrade dragged it out a bit, just to see Sherlock squirm with impatient, then let him off with a nod so he could dash over to his new 'flatmate'. And Lestrade couldn't stop his smile.