Title: Something Savings Time
Prompt: The Case of the Lost Hour
Warnings: None required
Rating: Okay for any age
start: 10:26 a.m.
"Welcome to our squalid abode," John said, ushering his sister into the (exhaustively cleaned, but still pretty awful) front room.
"It's not that bad, really." She bumped his shoulder with hers. "You're bachelors! Thanks for having me."
"Always. Dying for a cuppa?"
"Always!" Harry followed him into the kitchenette, and he was deeply glad he'd found and cleared away that last jar of fingers Sherlock had 'forgotten' to mention.
"So what brings you here? I admit, I was surprised to get your call."
"You know, the usual. It's gotten to that week in the Twelve Step again. I am truly sorry, Johnny, for all the crap I've saddled you with over the years."
"I know. It's okay. Anyhow, you've hardly done anything to me really, not since the last time. It's Clara you owe apologies to."
"Don't I know it! She's next. Tomorrow. She's meeting me at a coffee-shop near her work."
John winced a little at that. "In a public place, during daylight hours."
Harry accepted the cup of tea (milk, no sugar) he handed her and smiled ruefully. "Yeah."
They moved into the sitting room and sat. Sherlock came in, drawn by the scent of tea. (At least he was wearing actual clothing this morning, not the pyjamas and dressing gown he'd lived in since the end of their last case. He seemed to have showered, too. And it wasn't like John could exactly banish him from the flat, just because his sister was visiting. Really, for Sherlock, this qualified as Making An Effort.)
Harry, not seeming to much notice John's mad flatmate flitting through, said earnestly, "I really think it's going to stick this time. I think this was really rock-bottom. Never had blackouts before." She shuddered a little. "Woke up one morning with absolutely no idea what had happened past three o'clock the previous afternoon."
"That's why I quit," Sherlock suddenly put in from the kitchenette, where he was stirring a ridiculous quantity of sugar into a cup of tea.
Harry took the time to look him up and down appreciatively. Even lesbians enjoyed that view. "You don't look like a boozer."
"Cocaine. I lost an hour one day, with no notion of what had happened to it."
"An hour?" Harry asked.
Sherlock came in and flopped dramatically onto the sofa, miraculously spilling nothing. "A whole hour! Not asleep, not bored, not deleted - just completely gone, between one breath and the next! It was very unnerving."
John squinted in thought. One hour? That didn't really seem typical of cocaine use.
Harry looked dubious, and then a little amused. "Did this happen during the Spring?"
Sherlock huffed at her. "I'm not an idiot. Nobody came in and changed the clocks! Besides, it was August. The August before I met John."
"Um. Modern clocks change themselves, usually," John put in.
"So how'd you do it? Quit, I mean. Twelve Steps?"
"Not bloody likely. I'd have had to apologize to Mycroft and Lestrade - yes, I know why you're here, Ms. Watson - and I'd sooner die. I just quit. It was awful. Quite extravagantly tedious."
"Well, good on you for making it. I can't imagine Johnny would lodge with a cokehead."
Sherlock finished his tea and swanned out without replying.
"Bit mad, your flatmate."
John just nodded. Mycroft. If a clock could adjust itself by an hour when the government changed the time, then could the government (which Mycroft apparently often was) adjust a clock by an hour for other reasons? Just one, in whatever pre-Baker-Street place Sherlock had been living at the time?
Theorizing without data, that's what he was doing, except he had the datum of being acquainted with Mycroft Holmes. If John had ever had the power to lose Harry an hour, and the hope that she'd quit drinking on account of it, he'd have done it in a heartbeat. Despite everything that had ever happened between them, she was his sibling and he'd do anything for her. That was something he and Sherlock's brother had in common.
Harriet's touch on his arm snapped him out of the train of thought. "As part of my ceremonial apology, can I take you out and treat you to the traditional lunch?"
John smiled at her. He hoped like hell she'd make a go of it this time. Of all the things he'd lost over the years, the sister he'd grown up with was the one he most wanted back. "I'll get my jacket."
end: 11:21 a.m.