(A/N) Aww hey, another Sherlock oneshot! Fluffier than normal, I believe. Beta'd and Britpicked by the lovely cjclark, as always. Please review, even the shortest ones mean a lot!
Disclaimer: Sherlock, John, and Lestrade do not belong to me (though I quite wish they did). They belong to the creators of BBC Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
"John- John, I'm going to fall! John, there's a child in front of me! John! John, let me grab your arm! John!"
Sherlock skids and smacks ungracefully into the wall of the ice rink, huffing and readjusting his scarf. John, seconds later, slides to a stop beside him, blinking innocently. Sherlock thinks he looks like the devil.
"You have to work on your balance, Sherlock," John tells him, and Sherlock glares daggers.
It started out for a case, mind you (as if Sherlock Holmes would succumb to this kind of nonsense for anything other than the good of science).
The man is named Joshua, and had claimed that he's being followed by a large, burly man who'd threatened to kill him with the blades of an ice skate (The only reason Sherlock took the case at all was because of the strange weapon-of-choice). John had frowned at this, seeing that this was odd as well. "Why would he try to kill you with a skate blade?" he'd asked.
"Well, I'm a figure skater," the man told them, and Sherlock didn't bother trying to stifle his giggles. But then John says, "Oh, that's cool! I love ice skating," and Sherlock shuts up because John in ice skates.
The man had left then, with the assurance that Boffin Holmes and Confirmed Bachelor John Watson would take the case. After they were alone, Sherlock blinks at his best friend and says, "You ice skate?"
John glances sideways at him and nods. "Well, yeah. What, can't you?"
Sherlock reddens, and then decides that not ice skating is far less embarrassing than actually ice skating, but he still mumbles a bit when he says, "No."
John blinks. "You… you can't ice skate?"
"No!" Sherlock snaps. "No, I can't ice skate! So what? Why would I need to clutter my hard drive with the knowledge of how to skate on ice when, if I had to, I could just walk on it? It's completely illogical!"
John blinks. "Well… because it's fun, I suppose."
"I don't have time for fun," Sherlock grumbles. "Do I look like some sort of petulant child to you?"
John smirks. "Well, in this case… don't you think it would be beneficial to the case to have an inside perspective of the victim's hobby? Considering there's obviously a connection between that and the weapon?"
Sherlock glances up at John and sighs.
The ice arena is used for hockey games, lessons and free skating. Thankfully, they also have ice skate rentals (John has his own pair, but Sherlock doesn't and refuses to buy some because he would definitely not have to use them ever again). The skating session is to begin in about ten minutes when Sherlock and John sit down on the benches to get their skates on.
John's a fast lacer, Sherlock thinks as he watches John put on the pretty (pretty? Sherlock, did you really just think that John's skates are pretty?) ice skates. They're white and slender and Sherlock might be wrong (he's just not very educated on skate wear, okay, but he's pretty sure) that they might be for girls. He deduces that, yes, John is wearing girls' skates, a minute later, when he decides that John's feet (like the rest of him) are so tiny that he probably has trouble finding men's shoes (and ice skates, apparently) that fit him.
John glances over at him. "Are you going to put on your skates, or…?"
Sherlock looks down at his ice skates. He hasn't gotten any farther than sliding them on his feet. They have both loops and pegs. Sherlock blinks. "John, I think I may have to go to my mind palace for this—," he starts, but John stops him with a sigh.
"Free skating is only open for an hour or so, Sherlock, we don't have time for your mind palace. And people might stare." He grabs Sherlock's laces and pulls them taut. Sherlock huffs. "John, they're too tight!" he whines. "It's cutting off my circulation!"
"They have to be as tight as possible," John explains, pulling the laces on the next set of loops. "Or else you'll fall down, though you probably will anyway."
Sherlock scoffs. "I won't fall down. It's all basic mathematics and strategy."
"Whatever you say, Sherlock," John tells him, winding the laces over the pegs and tying the laces in a bow at the top of the skate. As he does up Sherlock's other boot, the consulting detective attempts to gain more knowledge about ice skating by watching the other skaters flouncing around the rink.
"There," says John, standing. He walks down the steps of the bleachers to get to the ground. "Can you get down by yourself, or do you need a hand?"
"Of course I can get down by myself!" Sherlock snaps, taking a step down and wobbling precariously. "John! John- John, I'm going to fall, John!"
John chuckles, thinking that ice skating with Sherlock is quite fun indeed, and gives Sherlock a hand down the bleacher steps.
Once Sherlock gets down, John gestures in front of himself. "After you," he coos, eager to see Sherlock stumble around like… like a penguin.
Sherlock lifts his chin and wraps his scarf tighter around his neck. "Ladies first," he purrs, lifting an eyebrow.
John smirks, walking easily ahead. Once he gets to the rink opening, he waits for Sherlock, eyebrow cocked.
Sherlock takes a shaky step forward, reminding John of a baby or fawn or something taking its first steps. Sherlock grips the wall for support and makes it to John after a while.
"Ready for this?" says John dramatically.
Sherlock doesn't look ready at all. "John, are you sure this is safe?" he asks. "Look! That sign says 'Skate at Own Risk'!" What are they implying? John, look how sharp the blades on those skates are! They'll chop off my finger if I fall!"
John laughs aloud. This is great already. "You'll be fine," he assures his flat mate. "I'll do my best to keep you from falling."
He pulls Sherlock onto the ice ("Look, it says 'step up', John, we could trip, maybe we shouldn't take the risk—!" "Calm down, Sherlock, just step up!") and immediately Sherlock starts flailing his arms around, trying to find some balance. Once he has some sort of momentum, he turns to John and asks, "Okay, how do I move?"
"Well, you push off on one foot and try not to topple," John tells him, demonstrating with a perfect figure eight. Sherlock thinks John is having way too much fun with this.
It takes Sherlock about four tries before he can push off and move a bit without falling down. John is immensely happy for him, and has a sort of proud father moment (that's weird, isn't it?) when Sherlock grins all wide after he finally gets it.
"John, did you see that? Did you even see that?"
"I saw it!" John assures him. "Great job! Now, just keep going."
Sherlock pushes off again, moving closer still to John, who's standing a few feet away. "John, I'm doing it!" he cries, amazed.
"Loser," a four year old girl says to Sherlock as she skates gracefully by. Sherlock frowns.
"Ignore her," says John quickly. Damn all these little skate kids. (Not really.)
Sherlock finally gets to John, smiling still. "See?" he says, puffing out his chest. "It's not that hard!"
"Okay," says John with a chuckle. "Now, come on. We're going to go a little faster, okay? And come away from the edge, silly, you're not going to fall!"
Sherlock ruefully does as he's told in a rare fit of obedience (John just clearly knows what he's doing here, okay!). He waddles over to John, decidedly not gliding, but walking. John laughs. "You have to skate, Sherlock!"
"Oh, fine," Sherlock sighs, trying to glide like John does. He gets it for a little while, but then stumbles when a child moving like a rocket soars in front of him, and he wobbles back and forth, long limbs all over the place, until John skates up and grabs him.
Sherlock flails and steadies himself, gripping John's shoulder like a lifeline. "That was horrific!" he exclaimed, his face the picture of terror.
John laughs brightly. "It's okay. These kids, they've been skating much longer than you."
"I find that absolutely disgruntling," Sherlock says pointedly, grabs John's wrist, and skates forward.
About half an hour later, Sherlock's gotten quite a bit better at ice skating. John's relatively certain that he could move about on his own, but Sherlock seems quite adamant about holding onto John's wrist all the time, so John doesn't say anything (he can't really complain [people will definitely talk].).
They sit down a little while after that, because they're both freezing and Sherlock's been complaining that his ankles hurt. They get a little table in the back corner of the café that's attached to the rink, and they order two hot cocoas and a plate of chocolate chip cookies.
When the food comes, Sherlock immediately grabs one of the cookies and eats it, smiling cheerfully. John's surprised. "I thought you didn't eat when you were on a case," he says, and Sherlock shrugs.
"It's a special occasion," he replies, and John decides that's good enough an answer for him and eats a cookie, too.
Ten minutes, half a plate of cookies and several too-hot cocoa burns later, Lestrade shows up, pulling a chair over to the table.
"Greg!" says John happily. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I'm here with my brother and his whiny kids," Lestrade grumbles, looking tired. "I've had quite enough of them for the moment. I was coming in to maybe get some scalding coffee to throw on either my face or theirs, but then I saw you two and thought I'd come over and say hello."
The waitress who'd served Sherlock and John notices their new addition and walks over. "Hello, I'm Deanna; can I get you a cuppa?"
"That would be fantastic," says Lestrade pointedly, and she scampers off to get him some.
"I wouldn't peg you to be the grumpy uncle," teases John. "Or, wait, maybe I would."
"He's obviously the grumpy uncle," says Sherlock into his cocoa. "You can tell by the cuffs of his shirt."
Lestrade glances down at himself, wondering what in the hell is special about his shirt cuffs. John does the same, tugging at his own jumper, wondering what Sherlock can deduce about him from it (it just looks like an ordinary jumper to him).
Deanna returns with Lestrade's coffee then, setting it on the table. Greg mutters his thanks as he takes it in both hands, blowing on it. Deanna nods and walks back into the kitchen, doors swinging closed behind her.
"So, what are you two doing here, eh?" Lestrade asks, smirking a bit. John thinks he's insinuating something.
"Ice skating," he says at the same time as Sherlock grumbles, "It's for a case."
"He's just grumpy because he can't grasp the concept as easily as he can solve a triple homicide," John explains to the detective inspector, and Sherlock scoffs.
"I'm quite good!" he insists, and Greg looks amused.
"Wanna show me some moves, then, huh?" he asks, positive that Sherlock: On Ice is a production he'd like to see.
Sherlock hesitates, finally snapping, "Fine! I'll show you!" and waddling back out of the café, Lestrade in his wake. John leaves some money for the waitress and hurries after them.
By the time he gets out to the rink, Sherlock's already stumbling onto the ice, and John is absolutely sure this won't go well.
Sherlock's skating pretty fast, and for a moment John thinks that Sherlock will be okay, but then a little boy ("Oh god, that's my nephew," Lestrade sighs. "Who let him on the ice?") skates in front of the detective and he fumbles, stumbling around and flailing again. John sighs, dashing past Greg and onto the ice, catching Sherlock by the shoulder just before he falls. The stand still for a moment, then burst into laughter at how badly that situation could have gone. They think they're in the clear until Lestrade's other nephew slams clear into John's back, and he falls, dragging Sherlock and the kid with him.
Before even Sherlock could process what had happened, they'd caused a dozen-person pileup in the middle of the rink.
It's on the front page of the newspaper the next day (Boffin Holmes and Absolutely Confirmed Bachelor John Watson cause horror on the ice!). People talk.
They solve the case two days after the Ice Skating Incident. Turns out that the "killer" is actually a Swedish figure skater in-the-making, and he'd been trying to ask Joshua to sign his ice skates. His English wasn't exactly perfect, and he'd accidentally said "I will please kill you with my skates." He didn't understand why the (actually pretty famous) figure skater had looked so stricken and run away, so he'd followed him to confront him again and apologize for his poor English.
While sitting in the flat after the case had been closed, John says to Sherlock, "Well, I guess that the ice skating trip hadn't really helped in solving the case, huh?"
"No, not particularly," replies Sherlock. And then, quite a bit quieter, "I had fun, though."
John glances up. "You did?"
Sherlock's blushing a bit (wait, Sherlock's blushing?) when he says, "Well, yes. It was actually quite exhilarating. Especially the pileup."
"Well," says John carefully. "We can go again, sometime. Maybe minus the accidents, though."
Sherlock smiles. "I'd like that very much," he says.
They go out and buy Sherlock his own pair of skates.