There! It's finally done! Writing this has been an interesting experience. I've never had to write a multi-chapter story with deadlines before, and I've learned quite a lot.
Please remember to review after you read! Even if you've never reviewed before, I'd love to hear from you!
When Sherlock returned he received a bone-crushing hug from his mother and a lot of silence from his father. He didn't care.
Life returned to its normal monotony very quickly, and Sherlock found himself even more bored than he was before he ran away. He finally knew what being alive felt like, and everything else greyed in comparison, so it was hard for him to find small thefts exciting anymore.
The first mildly interesting thing that happened was a few weeks later at Christmas, when Sherlock returned from a walk outside to see Mycroft sitting in his favourite sofa reading a newspaper. He hadn't seen him in person since breaking into his room. His brother looked up and smiled.
"Ah, Sherlock. Happy Christmas," Mycroft threw the newspaper to his brother, who caught it in one hand. The photo on the front page featured someone very familiar. The headline read:
"DS Gregory Lestrade, Rising Star of Scotland Yard, Breaks Smuggling Ring!"
Sherlock's eyes widened as he quickly read the article. Apparently, Lestrade managed to find a connection between the victim in the supermarket and a jewellery-smuggling ring operating in London. By tracking down the murderer he brought the whole operation to light, resulting in the arrest of at least ten of the people in charge.
"Not bad," Sherlock muttered, feeling quite proud of himself. He was right!
"Indeed. I hope you realize how lucky you were."
"Lucky?" Sherlock asked.
"Your observation of the bruised finger was quite impressive," Mycroft started. He knew what happened at the supermarket. Sherlock told him the whole story weeks ago, "But I could easily think of thirty-seven… No," Mycroft stopped to think, "Thirty-eight different explanations for the situation as you saw it. You were simply lucky enough to choose the right one." Sherlock opened his mouth to protest, but then closed it again. Mycroft was right, and the worst part of it all was that he definitely couldn't think of thirty-eight different explanations for the situation as he saw it. He could hardly get fourteen.
"Fine. Whatever," Sherlock mumbled and turned to leave. He already felt bad about not seeing everything at the crime scene; he didn't need Mycroft to make him feel worse.
"Sherlock," Mycroft said and Sherlock stopped, "Do you want to be a detective?" Sherlock thought about it. If being a detective meant having a lot of cases like the one in the supermarket, he didn't even have to contemplate his answer.
"Then you have to work on it. I don't need to tell you you're a natural, but talent doesn't matter if you don't practice. If you really want to be good, you need to be focused."
"I know," Sherlock replied. He looked at Mycroft. Why was he giving him the lecture now? He knew that when it came to deductive reasoning, his brother was pretty much in a league of his own. He did he get this good? Did he practice, or was his natural talent so great that he didn't have to?
"Oh," Mycroft suddenly spoke again, breaking Sherlock's train of thought, "I won't be here on your birthday, so I got you your present now." Mycroft pulled a small leather case from his bag, "This one even comes with instructions, so you won't scratch the locks beyond recognition before opening them," Sherlock took the new leather case from Mycroft and looked inside. It was a lock picking kit that looked almost exactly like the last one, only new and of higher quality. The boy immediately found himself wondering what else he could find in his locked shed if he really searched through it. Perhaps there were more drawers in the house that he didn't find before. A list of every locked door he had seen in the past week flashed through his mind. Then he remembered that he really shouldn't be thinking about it. He didn't want to find anything distracting. He had a purpose and he was not going to waste time on irrelevant information. Then again, he was so curious...
"You said that you regretted throwing the last one in the river. It might help with the boredom a little," Mycroft gave him the most condescending smirk Sherlock had ever seen. He realised that this was a test. Mycroft was testing him to see if he could resist temptation and only use the kit when necessary. His brother had always been an expert on giving him very challenging tests.
"Mycroft, you insufferable git."
"You're very welcome."
Well, (for the last time), did you like it?
BTW, in case you don't know, Sherlock's birthday is on the 6th of January.
I would love to hear honest your honest opinion on the story, even if you've never commented before (I mean it, please review! I don't bite!)