Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson belong to ACD and the BBC.
Author's note: I've become so Sherlock obsessed lately. I started doodling kid!Sherlock and decided that it would be interesting to see him meet college!John, so I wrote it. This kinda reminds me of my Harry Potter fic 'Chance Encounter', oddly enough. I adore Johnlock, but this isn't slash, unless you really want it to be. They're fourteen and twenty here, so that would be kind of weird, in my opinion, but feel free to interpret it however you like.
Fourteen year old Sherlock Holmes moodily kicked another stone out of his path as he walked sulkily through the park. It wasn't fair. He knew that Carl Powers had been murdered. It was so obvious! But those stupid police officers hadn't even listened to a word of what he was saying when he tried to tell them. Idiots! All of them! Why weren't there any decent police officers in this city? Shouldn't the police be at least slightly smarter than the average idiot? Apparently not. They seemed to just assume that he was stupid, because he was younger than them. What utter rubbish. He was smarter than any of them. The only one who even bothered to take a second look at him was some low ranking officer named Lestrade, and that was only because he was on coffee break and had nothing better to do than listen to a kid's "crazy theories". And even he hadn't really listened.
Sherlock felt eyes on him and turned to see a curious young man-medical student, in college, interning at a hospital, probably St. Bart's, test tomorrow, just dumped by his girlfriend, debating whether or not to smuggle alcohol into his dorm tonight- watching him from a nearby park bench.
"Save drinking yourself into oblivion for tomorrow night!" Sherlock called. "You don't want to be hung-over during a test. Although I doubt she's worth the damage you'll do to your liver."
The man started.
"Are you talking to me?" he asked.
Sherlock rolled his eyes and walked closer.
"Of course I'm talking to you, idiot. There's no one else I could possibly be talking to, is there?"
"How on earth do you know all of that?" the student asked.
"I saw it," Sherlock explained. "The amount of books you're carrying tells me you're a college student with a test soon, the amount of notes you have tells me it's tomorrow. The fact that you just scribbled over a heart carved into the bench tells me that you've just been dumped by your girlfriend, who you still have feelings for. You keep sending nervous glances towards that liquor shop, telling me you're considering smuggling alcohol into your dorm, but these glances are interspersed with glances at your textbooks, telling me you're worried about being hung-over for your test tomorrow, so it's still a debate."
"That is brilliant!" the man gasped.
Sherlock couldn't quite stop the blush that rose to his face. He was used to being told to shut up, or worse.
"It was nothing," he insisted. "I just observed."
"I could never do it," the man told him.
"That's because you're an idiot," Sherlock replied curtly.
The man looked taken aback, and Sherlock hurried to rectify the situation. This was the first person who'd ever acknowledged his brilliance, and here he was alienating him.
"I don't mean that in a bad way," he quickly explained. "Almost everyone is."
"So you meant 'idiot' in a nice way?" the man asked skeptically.
Sherlock looked more closely at the textbooks.
"I was just stating a fact, Mr. Watson."
"How- Oh, it's written on the books, isn't it? Call me John."
"John," Sherlock repeated.
What a boring, average name. Perfect for a boring, average person. And John was incredibly boring and painfully average. So why was Sherlock still talking to him? Simple. There was nothing better to do.
"The name's Sherlock."
"That's quite a mouthful," John remarked. "Got a nickname?"
"Call me Sherly and you die," Sherlock explained calmly.
"All right then, Sherlock," John agreed. "Shouldn't you be in school?"
Sherlock gave him a look.
"School? School's boring."
"So you're skipping?"
"Hardly. I never bothered to go in the first place," Sherlock informed him with a short bark of laughter.
"Don't you have a girlfriend to hang out with or something?" John asked.
"Girlfriend? No." Sherlock told him with a slight sneer.
Oh, how typically college student. Always thinking about girls.
"Boyfriend, then?" John persisted.
Okay. This conversation was getting weird.
"Are you trying to flirt with me?" Sherlock asked. "Because that's generally considered both socially and morally unacceptable, considering the age gap."
"What? No!" John looked genuinely taken aback. "I was just curious, that's all. It's weird that you'd hang out with me when I'm sure you have better things to do. Don't you have friends?"
"The only better things I have to do require at least one member of the police force being at least slightly intelligent. Considering that this is New Scotland Yard, I'd say the chances of that are slim to none. Friends? No. I've never had friends. I never will."
For some reason, John Watson seemed pained by those words.
"Oh, don't feel sorry for me," Sherlock snapped. "It's my choice. Emotional attachments are weakness."
"What made you this way?" John asked.
"Funny, I thought you were studying to be a medical doctor, not a psychologist," Sherlock retorted, not liking where this was going.
"Don't want to talk about it?" John presumed. "I get that. There are a lot of things I wouldn't want to tell a stranger about."
"Like your sister's drinking problem?" Sherlock guessed.
John's eyes turned cold for a second.
"How'd you figure that one out?"
"Beer stains on your bag," Sherlock explained. "Many of them, over time. You're obviously not an alcoholic, considering that your girlfriend dumped you at least an hour ago and you're still debating whether or not to smuggle alcohol into your room. But the bag's had a previous owner. The name 'Harriet Watson' is written in a corner and crossed out. Could have been a parent or cousin, but, judging from the age of the bag and the fact that cousins don't usually share school supplies, sister is more likely."
"You're good," John said, still slightly tense.
It wasn't quite the glowing praise of earlier, but it would do. For someone so unused to praise, it was like gold.
"Sherlock! There you are! I've been looking for you everywhere!"
Sherlock scowled at the young woman coming to pick him up.
"What? Does Mycroft not have security cameras in all the trees yet?"
"Must you make an effort to avoid your brother whenever possible?"
"When he keeps spying on me, yes," Sherlock retorted.
She ignored him and turned to John.
"Thanks for keeping an eye on him. Hope he wasn't too much trouble."
"Not at all," John replied, extending a hand. "John Watson. Nice to meet you."
"Anthea," she replied, taking it gracefully. "Not interested."
Sherlock couldn't help scowling. So that's how it was. John had just been humoring him. And now that there was a hot girl in the vicinity, he was no longer interested. Typical college student.
"Let's just go," Sherlock muttered. "If you're going to drag me home, don't make me stand around and wait."
"If you insist," 'Anthea' teased.
On the ride home, Sherlock kept thinking about John Watson. Try as he might, he couldn't deny that it had been nice, being complimented. John had been nice. Maybe, he could talk to John again some other time. Just for a change of pace. It did get very tiring, being scorned all the time. As long as 'Anthea' didn't come along.
It was then that he realized that 'Anthea' had redone her nails a slightly different color. Pumpkin Orange instead of Harvest Orange. It made sense, since Halloween was coming up. And 'Anthea' always redid her nails on Mondays. How had he not noticed? He replayed the last several minutes in his head and suddenly it was obvious. He had been too caught up in his annoyance at seeing John flirt with her to even bother to scan her. Stupid, stupid! He couldn't believe he'd done that.
Well, Mycroft was right about another thing. Emotional attachments were weaknesses. No wonder ordinary people were such idiots. They formed so many bonds with so many people. It was a wonder they could see anything at all.
There was only one thing to do. Sherlock rested his head in his hands and closed his eyes.
John Watson stared after the elegant black car. That had been quite a kid. Quite a girl too, but John knew what the term 'out of his league' meant. However, Anthea wasn't really the most interesting part of the encounter. That dubious honor went to Sherlock. Who was he? Some rich child prodigy, obviously, but there seemed to be more to him than that. After ten minutes of trying to figure it out, John finally gave up. Whoever he was, he had pretty good advice. Ella really wasn't worth it. John would save the drinking for after he passed the test.
Author's Note II: Since I already told you John and Sherlock's ages, Anthea's eighteen. She's the only one who remembers this encounter thirteen years later when John and Sherlock meet again (hence the reason she uses the same fake name.) Sherlock, as you saw, deleted it, and John simply forgot.