Note: Sherlock is meant to be about six years old. Hence the slightly naive and innocent personality.
Mummy had said she'd only be half an hour at the shops down the road. Mycroft was out at the library. Daddy was at work until five. Sherlock was alone in the house. And it was brilliant.
"I can do whatever I want!" he cried happily, as soon as the front door clicked shut. He was standing on the landing at the top of the stairs, and promptly jumped onto the banisters, sliding down them and stumbling slightly as he disembarked. The big house was very, very silent, and Sherlock's only companion was his racing mind, with about three different chains of thought, each heading in the direction of Which experiment shall I set up? Is there any ice-cream left or has Mycroft eaten it all? Shall I go into the garden?
Well, there was Mr Cuddles, but he wasn't doing anything. He was sitting in the corner, near the piano, curled up and asleep. He blinked one doleful eye at the child, and then drifted off again.
Sherlock bounded into the kitchen, pushing back his curly hair with an excited fist, and look a running leap up onto the counter. He clambered on top of it, and stood precariously, hoping Mummy wouldn't notice scuff marks on her marble countertop, before opening the cupboard and peering inside.
He grabbed a packet of tea biscuits and a pot of honey, and then carefully hopped back down onto the ground. Carrying his treasure, he proceeded into the living room, and threw himself onto the big squishy sofa, giggling to himself as he pressed his face into the cushions. It smelt like air freshener, which was annoying, but at least Mummy had managed to get rid of the smell of fermenting rice after that last experiment that went wrong... Sherlock hadn't been allowed into the kitchen for a very long time after that.
He sat upright, swinging his legs, as his feet didn't touch the ground yet, and took a biscuit out of the packet. These were his favourites. He wasn't allowed to drink tea yet, but sometimes Daddy would let him take a sip from his cup in the evenings, and if Sherlock was very good, Daddy would give him a biscuit to dip in.
Next was the pot of honey. If Mummy came in right now, she would be very angry. Almost as angry as she was when she found Mycroft's stash of cookies that time.
Sherlock poured a bit of honey onto his tea biscuit, and started nibbling at the edges. He liked nibbling out pictures. Mycroft had once nibbled out Wales, which Sherlock thought was amazing. Mycroft didn't nibble anymore, though. Recently he was more inclined to just shove as much as he could into his mouth, and then tell Sherlock to go away...
Sherlock's fingers got a bit sticky after a while, so he took his treasure, leapt off the sofa, and returned to the kitchen. He grabbed a stool and stood on it, washing his hands in the sink, and then climbed back onto the counter to put the biscuits and honey away. Nobody would ever know...
He left the kitchen, and went back into the entrance hall. The cat was still asleep by the piano. Sherlock went up to him, stretching his hand out to stroke the cat, but got scratched for his efforts.
"Fine!" Sherlock retorted, frowning at the grumpy cat, and cradling his hand. Luckily there was no blood. "Be like that. Lazy cat!"
He pulled out the chair and sat before the piano. He pressed a key, and Mr Cuddles gave him a disdainful glare, as if to say "Why are you playing now, when I want to sleep?"
Sherlock smirked, and began playing Beethoven's Turkish March as loudly as he could. Mr Cuddles promptly stood, yowling angrily, and stalked away. Sherlock heard the cat flap open and close from the kitchen.
He giggled to himself, but then stopped. It was very lonely, in this big house, by himself.
"No matter," he told himself. He wanted to start his salt crystal experiment today. Mummy had bought him some food colouring, so he could grow salts in different colours. Elizabeth at school had smiled when she read his plan he'd scribbled down in his notebook. She said she'd want to see them. Sherlock wanted to show Elizabeth, so it was best that he get started as soon as possible.
He hurried upstairs, and went to his school bag, pulling out his notebook. At the back, he'd written down a quick method, and the quantities of salt and water he would need. He'd already calculated how much salt would dissolve into a cup full of water. He also needed to grow a seed crystal.
Careering back down the stairs, he ran into the kitchen, wondering if Elizabeth would prefer red or blue crystals, but then froze in the middle of the room.
Mr Cuddles was crouched in the corner, a starling trapped between his jaws. He was growling loudly, large yellow eyes glaring up at Sherlock evilly. The starling was twitching slightly from where it was held.
"W-what?" Sherlock squeaked, backing up a few seconds. "Mr Cuddles! No! Put that down!"
Sherlock didn't know what to do. He glanced around- there were feathers everywhere, and he deduced that Mr Cuddles had brought it in from outside, and was now planning on eating it.
He tentatively stepped forward, preparing to scare Mr Cuddles into dropping the bird so it could fly away, but the cat just started growling louder, mimicking Sherlock's movement and stepping away, his posture still defensive.
Sherlock looked down at his hands, and realised he could use his notebook to throw at the cat. He aimed, not daring to take a step closer, and the book hit the cat squarely on the head.
Mr Cuddles yelped, but did not let go of the bird. Instead, he jumped up onto the counter, with a spray of feathers, and backed away, still glaring at Sherlock.
"Let go!" Sherlock yelled, getting upset. Why was the cat doing this? He'd been caught! He had been caught red-handed, killing the bird. If he had any sense, he would let the bird go, and hide, otherwise Sherlock would have to chuck a bucket of water over him, like Mummy did when Mr Cuddles had brought in birds before.
Sherlock got angry, and rushed towards the cat, flapping his hands. It did the trick, and Mr Cuddles released the starling, and darted away. A second later, he'd escaped out of the cat flap.
Sherlock hesitantly approached the bird. He let his eyes look over it carefully, analysing each bit. There was a wound on its neck, which was leaking blood. It looked like its right wing was broken. It was lying on its back, legs in the air, and it was panting. Well, Sherlock thought it was panting. It could have been thrumming from the force of its own heartbeat.
He stood on tiptoes to look at it at eyelevel. The starling's beady black eye stared back.
Then, all of a sudden, it stopped moving. The panting movements in its body ceased. The twitching in its broken wings faded.
It was dead.
Sherlock frowned, feeling very uneasy and upset. He'd just watched his own cat kill a bird. Stupid cat.
He reached forward and scooped the bird up into his small palms. It was hot, and soft. Blood smeared across Sherlock's fingers. He lifted it up to his face, and felt anger bubble up inside him.
"I'm sorry," he said to the dead bird. "It's not your fault. I shouldn't have woken up Mr Cuddles, and he wouldn't have gone outside and caught you. I should have stopped him earlier, too."
Sherlock's eyes burned slightly, and he sniffed. He sank to the floor and held the bird away from him, half in disgust at the broken thing, and half because he didn't know what to do with it.
At that moment, the door opened.
"Sherlock?" It was Mycroft, back from the library. He came in to the kitchen, carrying three large books under his arms.
"My," Sherlock muttered sadly, holding up the bird.
"Oh, god, what have you done Sherlock?" Mycroft exclaimed, dropping his books on the kitchen table and hurrying over to the little boy.
"I didn't do anything!" Sherlock protested, but his protestations fell on deaf ears.
"Oh, you've killed it!" Mycroft said, with revulsion. "I told Mummy not to let you be alone, otherwise you get into trouble like this!"
He pointed to the dead creature in Sherlock's hands, and grabbed Sherlock roughly by the arm, pulling him up. Sherlock tried to speak, but Mycroft was still ranting.
"I don't know why you think it would be funny to hurt a bird, but this is too far!" he said angrily, pulling Sherlock outside to the garden, and yanking him over to the fence. "And to do so to an innocent creature, Sherlock. No wonder you don't have any friends!"
Sherlock pulled himself away at that comment, blinking up at Mycroft in hurt. "Get off me!" he yelled. He scowled down at the dead bird, absolutely not letting Mycroft see him cry, and then tossed it over the fence, where it would undoubtedly be eaten by a fox. Good.
"Come on. You need to wash your hands," Mycroft said with a sigh, as if his life was such a chore, and Sherlock was just yet another annoyance.
Sherlock's face crumpled, and he ran away from Mycroft, back into the house. Part of him wanted to fight his case, to insist that it was the fat cat that had done the crime, but the other part of him wanted to just get away from his brother, who was being so mean...
He made sure to scrub all the blood off his hands, and then retreated to his bedroom, where he lay face down on the quilt, trying not to feel sad when he heard his mother come home, and then heard Mycroft telling her about the bird.
Now everyone would think he did it...
And he wouldn't be allowed to start his salt crystals, either.
Later that evening, Sherlock was sitting in the corner, reading The Lost World, when his bedroom door opened.
"Go away," he said immediately, snapping his book shut and putting on his best sulking face.
His father poked his head around the door, and Sherlock changed his expression immediately.
"I'm sorry. I'm here to see a man about a bird?" his father joked, and Sherlock rolled his eyes, but did not say anything.
Daddy came into the room, and Sherlock chivvied over on his beanie bag so he could sit next to him.
"My is off in a storm about you being naughty," Daddy said quietly. "Telling Mummy off for letting you be alone."
"I didn't do anything!" Sherlock began adamantly, but Daddy shushed him.
"I think your brother has just got a bee in his bonnet, and is a bit stressed. You pay him no mind, you hear me?"
"And I for one saw Mr Cuddles out on the porch, looking rather too pleased with himself and licking his lips. If Mycroft used his brain, he would evaluate all the facts and find the true answer, rather than the one he has changed to fit his theories. You mark my words, okay?"
Sherlock nodded again, and pressed his face into his father's side.
"I didn't kill it, Daddy," Sherlock mumbled.
"I know. I'll speak to your brother, and he'll see sense. Don't you get upset about it, will you?"
"I was upset," Sherlock admitted. "When it died. It was alive, and then it died. I thought I should have helped it."
"These things happen, Sherlock. Circle of life, and all that. You can't let little things like that upset you. There are bigger things to get upset about."
Sherlock nodded yet again.
"Now come on. Dinner is almost ready," Daddy kissed the top of his head, and stood up.
"I'm not hungry," Sherlock said at once.
"I don't care," was the brusque reply. He took Sherlock's hand and together they went downstairs.
And if Daddy nudged Sherlock every time Mycroft's head was turned so that he could fire peas at him with his spoon, neither of them mentioned it to Mummy.
Okay. Dear lord. There's nothing scarier than going downstairs and finding your cat munching its way through a starling.
So once I'd managed to gather my wits, I scared the cat away. The starling was still alive, but barely, and I shut it in the bathroom so no other cats could get at it.
I then locked the cats in another room, and went back to the starling. It was dead.
And then, tada! Sherlock fic!
I hope you liked it. (Basically an excuse for me to write child!Sherlock).
Sophie, you selfish person, I still haven't forgiven you. Three weeks! Three! Three whole weeks! How could you leave me? I hope you read this and realise how fragile my mental state is without you. And I mean that in a "grr-I'm-angry-with-you" way and not in "I'm-so-desperate-and-needy-without-you" way, because that would just be pathetic. And I'm not pathetic. Not at all.
So yes. Review. Review for a poor girl who wasn't quick enough to save an innocent bird. Review for the lonely girl whose inconsiderate friend has buggered off to Geneva! Pff! Sophie, I hope you wander off into Switzerland and fall off a waterfall.